It is always a real pleasure to welcome the cast of a Talking Scarlet production to the bar following an opening night and this was certainly no exception.

It had been no surprise, given Graham Greene’s reputation as a Catholic novelist, for the audience to take their seats before a stage set against a backdrop of three huge crosses awaiting what is believed to be a semi-autobiographical tale of love, adultery, jealousy, guilt and the power of religion.    Set in London during and just after World War II, to some extent it mirrors Greene’s life:  he lived on Clapham Common and had an affair with the wife of a Labour peer – Lady Catherine Walston – to whom this explicitly Catholic novel is dedicated.

The play, cleverly adapted for stage by Rupert Goold and Caroline Butler, opens with the character, Maurice Bendrix, directly addressing the audience with the opening lines from Greene’s 1951 novel, “A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.”   Bendrix is brilliantly portrayed by Neil Roberts who is never off the stage during the whole thought provoking two-plus hours.  In fact, the entire cast are to be commended on their performances which, together with  the ingenious – yet amazingly simple – set and the evocative live piano music (performed by John Goodrum), transported the audience back to 1940s London.

After what had been a demanding evening on both sides of the proscenium arch, it was a delight to welcome the entire cast in the bar after the show.

The Cast (l-r): John Goodrum, George Telfer, Sarah Stanley, Greg Fitch, Ewan Goddard, Neil Roberts with a member of the crew (seated)

The Cast (l-r):
John Goodrum, George Telfer, Sarah Stanley, Greg Fitch, Ewan Goddard, Neil Roberts
with a member of the crew (seated)

This really friendly cast seemed happy to chat, sign autographs and have their photographs taken with the assembled Friends.  The production, which we learnt they had rehearsed in Eastbourne, has had a relatively short run and Saturday will be the final performance of the tour.

 

Sarah Stanley

We are delighted to hear, however, that the majority of the actors will be returning to the Devonshire Park during the Murder in the Park series in the coming weeks.  We really look forward to welcoming them back!