23 June 2008

Last Train to Nibroc at the Orange Tree

The last play in the season of plays by female authors was the Last Train to Nibroc by Arlene Hutton.

It was very different from anything else that I have seen at the Orange Tree as it had a cast of only two and was played without an intermission.

Performing non-stop for 90 minutes must be quite a challenge for the actors but not for the audience that was kept enrapt by the drama.

The staging was minimal, even by the Orange Tree's standard, consisting of little more than a dais and a bench. As usual the acting and the dialogue more than compensated for the lack of props.

The play was a light, almost whimsical, view of a romance that starts with a chance meeting on a crowded long distance train and ends with the couple falling into marriage in a triumph of convenience over passion.

As the romance develops we learn much more of the woman and what she does but little of the man. This makes the woman very much the focus of the play and puts even more attention on the performance of the actress Heather Saunders. And this extra attention is well rewarded as she performs marvellously.

The Orange Tree is closed now for the summer but opens again in September with the much anticipated Vaclav Havel season.

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