One of Tennessee Williams' best known and most autobiographical plays it tells the story of a mother, son and sister, left by a father - "a telephone man, who loved long distance" - in the midst of the Great Depression. The play is an emotional rollercoaster, loaded with broad social themes, and exploring the complexity of familial relationships. Jeremy Herbert's set uses the large space effectively making it seem busy but not cluttered and capturing the sense of Southern grandeur distilled into a two-by-four flat in the city. Deborah Findlay, as the Southern belle turned jilted wife and smothering mother, is superb while Leo Bill as Tom (Tennessee) carries the play along with his emotional outbursts and quivering discontent. Sinéad Matthews as Laura and Kyle Solle as her "Gentleman Caller" own the second act as this play reaches its climax in their much anticipated interaction.
Bringing such a well-known play to new life is a difficult task but Hill-Gibbons was happy to talk to us about why the Young Vic chose this play (they finally got the rights) and to describe some of the process of bringing it from page to stage. The cast shared with us some of the research they'd done into the real lives of the Williams family to better understand who these characters were and where they came from. And finally Allen talked to us a little about the music and even about his fish bowl!
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