The Retreat From Moscow

ALISON CROOSE River Studios, West Acre


> River Studios, West Acre

It is a major leap to take a play from New York to the Norfolk countryside, but the talents and professionalism of the West Acre company did full justice to a powerful work.

Leading British playwright, screenwriter and director William Nicholson gave special permission for his play to switch from an 800-seat theatre on Broadway to the 70-seat converted chapel which has earned a reputation for artistic excellence.

Family links across the Atlantic were the key to the exclusive opportunity which led to Issy Huckle and Andy Naylor, who run River Studios, taking to the stage with Issy's son, Joseph Smith, who was a producer for the play in America.

The trio was unfazed by the magnitude of the honour conferred on them and relayed the gnawing misery of the break-up of a 33-year marriage with consummate skill.

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The play is harrowing but realistic and Issy Huckle and Andy Naylor gave immaculate performances exploiting the poignancy of an acutely-observed script. As they revealed all the nuances of their discontent their son walked an emotional tightrope between his beloved parents and Joseph Smith displayed all the agony of his situation.

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