28 April 2007

Orange Tree Theatre

The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond is a real gem and I go to see almost every production. Some friends do all the work in picking the date, finding out how many in our group can come and then buying the tickets - all I have to do is turn up on the night.

This week I went to see The Skin Game by John Galsworthy (of Forsyte Saga fame and a local resident). The play is a drama on the conflict between new industrial wealth and the landed gentry. The landed gentry win but only by acting ungentlemanly so it's a pyrrhic victory.

What makes The Orange Tree special is that it is in the round. i.e. there is seating all around the performance area, as you can see from this picture.

It seats a little under 200 people so the atmosphere is very intimate, particularly when the cast join the audience during the show, as they did in the auction scene in The Skin Game. In one play, about the Vietnam War, the on-stage discussion opened up to include the audience and I joined in!

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