Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Collateral Damage (The Years Between - Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond)

After feeling decidedly old the other week at Chatroom/Citizenship I reasserted my youth yesterday with a trip to the Orange Tree to see their revival of The Years Between. I think I counted 5 people in the audience under the age of 60 (and not a single non-white face). It would have caused the diversity people at the Arts Council to have a fit.

Anyway don't let that put you off, as after a slow start Daphne du Maurier's prescient 1943 play is worth catching. Michael Wentworth a (Tory) MP and writer returns home after spending three years on the continent working with the resistance to find Diana his wife believing him to be dead has taken his seat and now has a life of her own. At heart this is a simple melodrama, the wife forced to choose between her ambitions and emotions, and her duty as a wife; but it also touches on the great social upheavals wrought by the war. Michael is an old school Tory who only wishes things to go back to how they were before the war whilst his wife has become caught up in the progressive wave sweeping the country and is determined to build a better fairer future.

The performances are generally serviceable with Mark Tandy standing out as the burnt out soldier who has spent three years dreaming of a home that no longer exists whilst Timothy Carlton is pitch perfect as the Tory grandee who become Diana's mentor.


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