Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Review: A Streetcar Named Desire at the Leicester Curve (Studio)

A Streetcar Named Desire
Leicester Curve (Studio)
Reviewed on Wednesday 21st October 2015

Nikolai Foster's production of A Streetcar Named Desire is dark, intense and often gritty. Blanche's story seems more traumatic than ever as we witness her world spiral out of control.

Set in in 1930s New Orleans, Tennessee Williams’ play sees Blanche escaping to her sister Stella's tiny apartment in an attempt to regain control of her life. However, Blanche shares a strange dynamic with Stella's husband Stanley and it doesn't take long for everything to go spectacularly wrong.

Foster's production lacks big shifts in energy - it is perhaps too depressing throughout. There is more to A Streetcar Named Desire than its darkness and despair. I must admit, the most dramatic scenes are staged well, there are moments of riveting drama. 

Although I sometimes found it hard to understand what Charlie Brooks was saying, there is some intricate detail in her performance as Blanche which audiences can fully appreciate in the intimacy of Curve's studio.

The stand out performance comes from Stewart Clarke as Stanley. Clarke is a force to be reckoned with; he builds tension superbly, and when Stanley explodes he doesn't hold back one bit  - you truly believe that the character has no limits. He is terrifying! 

Dakota Blue Richards successfully portrays Stella with innocence, without her becoming two dimensional. There's also a stand out performance from Patrick Knowles who plays Blanche's love interest, Mitch, with great heart.

This was only my second time stepping foot in Curve's studio space which has been transformed since my last visit. I like the little theatre, it complemented the atmosphere well and I felt as if I was peering into these characters' sad and twisted lives.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

A Streetcar Named Desire runs at the Leicester Curve until Saturday 7th November 2015.
Please visit for further information and tickets.

Read our previous interviews with Charlie BrooksStewart Clark

Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan

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