22 February 2018

Curtains at Rose Theatre tackled a difficult subject intelligently

I went to see Curtains at Rose Theatre as much to support my local theatre as anything else. There was nothing particular about the play or cast that enticed me but it seemed like a reasonable show and worth a punt. The price was bit of a shock though, my seat in my usual area, A38, cost me £40 for a preview performance. That's a lot of money for a Zone 6 theatre, pushing twice what it should be.

The combination of the uncertain play and the high price kept a lot of people away and the theatre was as empty as I had ever seen it And that was a shame as Curtains was a decent enough show.

It was very much a show in two halves, the second longer than the first. Before the Prosecco break the scene was set with the death of an old woman who died on her birthday surrounded by her family. It was a slow start but with enough drama and characterisation to keep me interested.

In the second half the characterisation blossomed in the unusual situation that has been built in the first half, the main story developed into some serious directions and some new stories emerged from the interactions between the characters. There was a lot going on including the father trying to manage the situation in a way that was uncomfortably familiar, his wife trying to come to terms with the situation and what had led to it, a couple drifting apart dropping plenty of hints of problems at home, a prodigal daughter lost in middle age and a young man flirting with religion.

The main theme, which gave the play its title, was dealt with sensitively and intelligently. This was a nice contrast to the many humorous elements and it gave the play a serious heart and a purpose.

Curtains did that clever thing of entertaining and also making you think about a serious and awkward subject.

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