Less than Kind (Tour – Oxford)

Planet Theatre have launched their latest tour at Oxford Playhouse, a superb production of Rattigan’s Less Than Kind, having assembled a fine cast to carefully deliver the text.

As the war reaches it climax in 1944, we meet widow and mother of one Olivia Brown, currently comfortable in the surroundings of War Minister John Fletcher’s finely furbished house. Neither of them had expected her son, having returned from five years in Canada, to be quite so forceful in his hatred for the war machine.

Adrian Brown’s production achieves the wonderful feat of combining one of Rattigan’s best plays with a stellar cast, lead finely by Sue Holderness and Wiliam Gaminara as Olivia and Fletcher.

The greatest performance of the night, however, comes from Charlie Hamblett as Michael Brown, the aforementioned son of Olivia. They are well supported by the supporting cast of Laura Doddington, Katie Evans and Leonie Spilsbury.

The lavishly furnished opening set contrasted well with the terraced suburbia of the second, which caused minor problems on the performance with shaking flats, visible lighting and previous sets spoiling the realism somewhat.

The company can look with a deep sense of pride at their production, which continues on tour until late June. Clear your diary, this classy, slick and elegant tour is well worth a visit.

Daniel Whitley