Described as virtually wordless, I wondered if I would enjoy this version of Matthew Lenton's acclaimed production Interiors created by Vanishing Point. The set is quite stunning and an actual window separates the audience from the stage giving the impression that we are looking in on a normal evening in someone's house. Only one actor speaks and very effectively narrates the action and the rest of the cast mime.
It is the longest night of the year, and a dinner party is taking place in a warm and cosy room. The action follows Peter Peter Kelly and his granddaughter Ruby Ruby Richardson hosting their annual dinner party to celebrate the end of the bad weather. Their friends arrive for a happy evening of good food and wine but are unaware that they are being watched by an unknown narrator Rosalind Sydney, a spirit who was once a guest at the very table that she watches tonight.
The guests arrive, middle aged Ann Ann Scott-Jones, who pretends to know about wine; young couple Robbie Robert Jack and Aurora Aurora Peres, tall awkward Damir Damir Todorovic and Davide Davide Pini Carenzi, the boyfriend of Ruby. The play begins in near silence with just the sound of the wind and the flutter of snowflakes outside the house, but then a woman's voice is heard commenting in a mocking manner on what is going on in the house. She is eventually revealed to the audience as an outsider looking in and she directly addresses them, but keeps pausing to stare in at the window.
The dinner party is a very familiar set-up: gifts are given and jokes are shared, except that the audience hears none of this. This absence of dialogue allows them to focus more on each character and observe the small gestures, forced smiles and uncomfortable grimaces.
The play is very funny, in places, especially after a great deal of wine has been consumed by the guests. Aurora and Robbie dance hilariously to Video Killed the Radio Star (the audience can hear the music), Peter performs a very poignant mime to Wherever I Lay my Hat and the unfolding, dramatic, events of the dinner party prove to be life changing for many of the guests.
Interiors is mesmerising and creates an engaging and unmissable production, delicate and understated and a totally unique theatrical experience. I found it fascinating and totally unforgettable and the cast most definitely deserved the rapturous applause from the very satisfied audience.