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Suddenly Last Summer

Tennessee Williams
Edinburgh Theatre Arts
St Ninian's Hall
to

There is a disturbingly pessimistic vision running through Tennessee Williams’s 1958 one-act play, given a faithful if gloomy outing by Edinburgh Theatre Arts.

The widow Mrs Venable (Edith Peers) wants to preserve the good name of her son Sebastian, who suddenly died in mysterious circumstances on a trip the previous year.

His traumatised companion on that trip, Catherine (Kirsty Doull), tells a terrifying story of his final days, including the revelation of his homosexuality. Since that’s not a story Mrs Venables wants believed, she proposes lobotomising Catherine and has persuaded Doctor Cukrowicz (Colin McPherson), with promises of funding, to consider giving her the operation.

There are occasional lyrical passages and two strong female characters in Mrs Venables and Catherine. The cast give a confident and effective performance, but the play will never win the hearts of audiences, beyond the enthusiasts of American Gothic horror.

Reviewer: Keith Mckenna