Youthful dreams of love and social advancement lie stranded on the high shore of faded empire.
This is the world of Sir Terence Rattigan, one of England’s finest writers who is enjoying a revival in popularity and performance before theatre and cinema audiences at the moment.
He once said, “the best plays are about people and not about things”.
This is never more so than in this late career play from the Master.
In two separate but linked stories the residents of a fading hotel are showcased.
In part one a divorced couple meet up and their past lives return to haunt them.
Hurts remain but longings endure.
In part two a retired Major appears too good to be true. He is but why?
Funny and sad the residents of the hotel play out their lives as islands onto themselves at their separate tables.
In a fine ensemble performance the subtleties of social nuance and penetrating social satire are wonderfully captured by a committed cast fine tuned with sharp direction.
Michael Blair playing the male lead in the two parts demonstrated great skill and projected great ownership of the contrasting characters he portrayed.
It was striking how his portrayal of Mr. Malcolm in part one bore a striking resemblance to our recent Prime Minister Gordon Brown of all people
Ann Carter was radioactive in her ringing hypocrisy and social aspiration as Mrs. Railton-Bell.
The overall performance of the play was pleasing and entertaining in a good old-fashioned theatrical way.
Long live Sir Terence and his magic of the stage.
All credit to the People’s Theatre for another delight and joy.
Catch it up until Saturday of this week at the People’s Theatre, Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne.