Still Life at Pentameters Theatre

A double-bill of short Noël Coward dramas at the tiny Pentameters restored my faith in the theatre after the Nutcracker debacle. First up, Red Peppers, a behind-the-scenes view of a 1930s vaudeville act struggling in a world that was fast overtaking them. Funny and quick, although perhaps a little heavy on the shouting (it really is a small theatre). Then, Still Life – better known to many in its incarnation as David Lean’s Brief Encounter. Greatly enjoyable with particularly strong performances from the two lead actresses Fiona Graham (Laura) and Déirdra Whelan (Myrtle). If there was a criticism it would be the lack of chemistry between the ill-fated lovers Laura and Alec, not helped by the casting of Elliot James as Alec – he just looked too young for the role and it’s hard to shake off the ghost of Trevor Howard from the film. 7/10

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