J.B. Priestly is described as having “revitalised conventional drawing-room drama by the infusion of a mysterious alternative reality”.
In this production of Dangerous Corner this is clearly shown, when a chance remark causes a ‘perfect circle’ of couples to reveal increasingly dark secrets. At the end, the play returns to the beginning and briefly shows the audience what would have happened if the chance remark had not been picked up on. The mystery unravels subtly and hence for the audience the ending provides a perturbing spectacle.
This is performed by a strong cast, whose characters are irrevocably changed by the end. Edmund Kingsley’s Robert Caplan makes it his mission to demand the truth and as a result is left drained by the revelations.
Kirsty Beterman is a fiery but brittle Freda Caplan unwilling to hear the truth. Ellie Beavan plays the blonde, excitable and naïve Betty Whitehouse. Mawgan Gyles is a sensitive Gordon Whitehouse who produces the most emotional revelation of the play. However, Tim Dutton speaks too fast as Charles Stanton, and whilst Ruth Everett is a steadfast Olwen Peel she maybe lacks distress during her forced disclosure.
Congratulations to Salisbury Playhouse for creating a detailed 1930s country house drawing room set with good use of lighting. With so many twists and turns it is not surprising that they need copious amounts of brandy available on set. Together with the cast, Dangerous Corner is a great start to the year for the Salisbury Playhouse.