Review: Suddenly Last Summer, Fisher Theatre, Bungay

Cathy Edwards-Gill in Suddenly Last Summer, by Tennessee Williams. Photo: Mike Allmey

Cathy Edwards-Gill in Suddenly Last Summer, by Tennessee Williams. Photo: Mike Allmey - Credit: Mike Allmey

Review: A Tennessee Williams play offers a powerful comment on sex tourism, says Charlotte Valori.

Sex tourism, in particular predatory paedophilia, is the dirty heart of Tennessee Williams' searingly bleak one-act play, which tells how suddenly, in the summer of 1935, pampered poet Sebastian Venable whisked his vulnerable cousin Catharine off to the sordid public beaches of Cabeza de Lobo; Sebastian was to prey on street children, while the unwilling Catharine was to provide a social screen.

In the play's brilliant final tirade, as richly evocative as any Messenger's Speech from Greek tragedy, Catharine reveals how Sebastian ended, horrifically, as prey himself. Cathy Edwards-Gill is superbly unstable as the disturbed Catharine, a memorable character tragically inspired by Williams' own sister; Yves Green glamorously acidic as Sebastian's overpowering, yet ultimately powerless mother.

Open Space Theatre's faithful production generally delivers plenty of tension and darkness, though unbalanced sound effects and a digital carousel of projected photographs can often distract.

@operissima

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