The Room Upstairs - Palace Theatre, Redditch
13th and 14th Feb 2015
Performed at the Studio - Artrix, Bromsgrove
21st and 22nd Feb 2015
Directed by John Edwards-Bick
A love triangle involving an intelligent, educated but disaffected young man (Jimmy) his upper class wife (Alison) and her best friend (Helena). A Welsh lodger (Cliff) attempts to keep the peace....
Look Back in Anger was as gritty as you could get
By Tristan HarrisSunday 22 February 2015 Updated: 22/02 04:21
THERE was plenty of anger on the stage but plenty of delight amongst the audience when All and Sundry put on its latest production.
John Osborne's Look Back in Anger was one of the first gritty 'realism' plays which broke with tradition and that grittiness certainly came across with this superb staging.
Every member of the cast contributed to a fantastic evening which left the audience with a few smiles but, overall, emotionally drained.
Anja Parkes played downtrodden wife Alison well, especially with her monologues towards the end of the first act.
Tanith Parkes was also excellent as the hard Helena who was mellowed by Jimmy's well-hidden charms.
But Rory Dulku stole the show as the 'angry young man' - he made acting look effortless as he dominated the stage with his strong and intimidating performance.
There were plenty of stand-alone lines in this production which were delivered impeccably throughout, mostly from Dulku, to give the crowd much-needed breaks from the constant dramatic tension.
The chemistry between the characters on the night was as good as you will get and, while the gritty realism ruled, this was also a good advert for naturalism with the amazing acting enabling the audience to suspend its disbelief from the off.
The choice of venue and intimacy of it was a master stroke.
The set was cluttered with an ironing board and furniture, including a bed, sofa and armchair and that claustrophobia magnified the emotional turmoil conveyed by the characters.
As you watched this production, which was beautifully directed by John Edwards-Blick, you had strong feelings about those on the stage, whether you empathised with their characters' predicament or loathed what they were doing.
And, as you departed after the final curtain, you were left with a mix of emotions and thoughts of 'what if she had done this' or 'what if he had not have opted for that'.
Overall, All and Sundry's Look Back in Anger was all a gritty realism production should be.