|Fulham's Brand New Theatre Delivers Again|
Revival of Eugene O'Neill's comedy Ah, Wilderness is a treat, says Penny Flood
Fulham’s new theatre above the Eel Brook pub has delivered again. Following on from the smashing Ordinary Days they’re putting on a Eugene O’Neill comedy, Ah, Wilderness.
O’Neill was one of the greats of American drama and it’s a treat to see this revival.
He’s a great reader and has discovered Wilde and Shaw (a "bigamist" and a dangerous leftie, according to his mother) along with Keats and Shelley, and the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, which quotes prolifically, muchto his mother’s horror. The title of the play is taken from a line in the Rubaiyat.
It’s not just Richard whose life is on the cusp, change is everywhere as his heavily corseted mother (Bronwyn Baud) and aunt Lily (Debbie Terry) try to maintain the old puritanical values while coming to terms with new ideas and freedoms as the children, Tommy (Jack Badley) and Mildred (Molly May Gardiner), won’t do as they’re told, and the men get drunk.
Alongside the main story there are entwining subplots, the gentle, sensible head of the family is Nat Miller (Tino Orsini) who runs a newspaper which needs advertising. This is given a twist as Dave is a big advertiser. Aunt Lily has lingering feelings for family friend Sid (Harry Reeder) which adds a "will-they-or-won’t-they" intrigue to the action. Look out for Reeder’s terrific performance as a drunk staggering home after the BBQ.
London Theatre Workshop is at 65 New Kings Road. Tickets, priced £12, or £10 concessions are available online.
Star Bronwen Baud introduces Ah, Wilderness on YouTube.
April 11, 2014