The Stronger / The Sound Of Silence

Wednesday, 03 February, 1999
Review by: 
Darren Dalglish

Pluto productions, who also produce shows for The New End Theatre in Hampstead, have presented us with an interesting double bill, with 'silence' as its theme. The first play "THE STRONGER" by August Strindberg is a very short play lasting only about 20 minutes. But it is quite an effective story concerning two actress friends who meet in a café. The younger woman never says a word, but is visibly upset by the encounter. As the older friend tries to account for this a betrayal is revealed!

There is a powerful and solid performance from Christina Greatrex as the betrayed woman and a competent performance from Claire McCarron, who had the difficult task of not having to speak a word, but express her emotions and thoughts by gestures.

The second play "THE SOUND OF SILENCE" by Jean Cocteau, is the better of the two. It is even longer, 45 minutes! The play concerns a woman who waits nervously in her hotel room for her wayward lover to return home. When he returns she questions him about where he has been but he does not reply and simply reads the newspaper. In order to get a response she spurts out her pent-up feelings towards him. We discover she is obsessed by her lover and is unable to live without him. As she harangues him we discover that he is seeing another woman. One may wonder if it is her obsessive, unstable personality that caused him to seek refuge elsewhere.

Bulgarian actress Irina Diva is phenomenal. She has you mesmerised and absorbed with her sultry voice and the way she seductively moves around the stage in a distressed state.

These two plays paired together give you an evening that is intriguing, emotional and thought provoking. And while neither of the plays are classics, together they make for an interesting evening.

The Grace Theatre at the Latchmere is a pub theatre, which opened back in 1982 and is one of the successful fringe theatres in London. It is situated in Battersea (Clapham Junction BR). Why not be brave and risk a little fringe theatre for a change. I am sure you will find it a stimulating experience.


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