Suddenly, Last Summer shines at the Old Court Theatre

Suddenly Last SummerSuddenly, Last Summer – written by Tennessee Williams – tells of the death of poet and dreamer Sebastian, and the possible truth of his demise.

It is a one-act play, however an interval is not missed as the production is enthralling from start to finish.

The play consists mainly of monologues, as at first Violet Venable – the deceased Sebastian’s mother – describes her niece’s insane ramblings about what happened to her son, and then Catherine herself tells her side of the story, which Violet disagrees with in the strongest of terms.

Jade Flack shines as Catherine, giving an exceptional performance as the young woman who claims to have seen the horrific, and yet is believed by nobody. Her deep south accent is perfect and anxious fist clenches and other small nervous ticks help portray of the stress and anxiety the character is feeling wonderfully. She truly brings the Catherine to life as she struggles with being labelled insane.

Another stand out performance comes from Barbara Llewellyn as Violet Venable, who is desperate to have Catherine silenced once and for all. Whatever her niece has been saying, Violet wants to hear no more, and Barbara brings equal parts humour and despair as the story unfolds.

The play builds wonderfully, the tension mounting until Catharine finally gets to say her piece – sharing her tale of what she claims really happened to Sebastian – after leaving the audience on tenterhooks.

Director Kelly McGibney uses colour, sound and smell to create a multi-sensory experience, bringing the ambience of Sebastian’s garden both onto the stage and into the audience.

Chelmsford Theatre Workshop’s production of Suddenly, Last Summer is utterly captivating, and one of the most enjoyable theatre experiences I can remember.

For more information on Chelmsford Theatre Workshop, visit their website: chelmsfordtheatreworkshop.wordpress.com

Suddenly Last Summer