A Streetcar Named Desire - Theatre Royal Haymarket 1996
Without doubt this is a tragic and disturbing play. Although it is a famous story and most people know what it is about before seeing it, I myself have never seen it before so I didn’t know what to expect. The play, which lasts 3 hours is a little tedious, but intriguing to begin with. It is not until after the interval that the drama really takes off and the sad and moving events begin to unravel.
Jessica Lange, who plays Blanche is superb in the role. She captures the flirty, helpless, mysterious character very well. She is convincing and pulls out all the emotion of the unstable character, Blanche requires.
Imogen Stubbs who plays Stella and Christian Burgess, who plays Mitch , the man Blanche thinks is different from most men and could take care of her, are both fine although not as outstanding as Jessica Lange. However, I thought Toby Stephens lacked the emotion and grit that his character demanded, he looked at times unconvincing, not quite getting in to the part.
The sets are wonderfully designed, although as I was quite close to the stage I could not quite get the benefit of them as I’m sure people at the back did. I suggest seeing this play about halfway back in the stalls or at the front of the dress circle as there are events going on high up on the stage and in the background which makes it difficult to view if you are too close.