Until March 29th 2014

Pinter is always a provocative and thought provoking experience; his skill in managing the sparse astute dialogue with so much subtext carried in the many pauses between characters is a challenge for any company. Unsurprisingly Next Stage has taken on this very challenge as part of their 20th Anniversary year and again produces an evening of great quality.

Under the direction of Ann Garner the reverse chronology provides a compelling platform whereby the audience can understand the poignancy and futility of the elusive happiness sought by the three protagonists.

Tim Evans excels as the controlling, intense Robert whilst Ashley Shiers as Jerry and Hannah Smyth as Emma complete the trio, working their way through the layers of deceit with professional ease whilst trying to maintain their “homes” and families.
This is an intriguing play, as much about loss as it is betrayal and for that reason alone judgement is reserved. There is a real sadness in the subtext and the persistent quest for happiness and the hope that somehow something might change reflects characters trapped in their behaviours and wishes.

The costumes and staging captures the 1970’s and the music is very well chosen. Whilst the painteresque style is well managed and Ann Garner sets this in the round, creating even greater scrutiny of this fine trio of actors.

This is a good production and Next Stage once again proved themselves well amongst the leaders in amateur drama in Bath.

Petra Schofield