by Terence Rattigan
REVIEW of OpenSpace Theatre’s Separate Tables
by David Porter
Open Space Theatre’s annual autumn tour arrived at Lowestoft’s Seagull Theatre with a fine example of stage writing, surefire acting and direction.
Separate Tables is a pair of interconnected plays set in a 1950s’ south coast hotel, a rather sad place peopled by lost characters, past their prime or inadequate in some way.
April Secrett and Roy Goodwin were the once-married couple facing their shared past as it cleverly unfolded. Eileen Ryan’s hotel manager showed skill and empathy, Tim Hall embodied the hapless, pretend retired major and Geoff Cadman the former schoolmaster.
Yves Green was outstanding as the superior, resident matriarch with the excellent Emma Martin as her downtrodden daughter who found her own voice.
Other guests (Annie Chapman, Anne McClarnon, Jake Kubala and Becky Martin) explored the nuances of their characters with skill and attention to detail
Waitresses Emma Owen-Jackson and Alison Dumbell were well drawn.
Scene changes were swift and fun - an added touch from the creative mind of director David Green who once again proved that Open Space is one of the best of our local, touring groups.
It’s on at Hoxne Village Hall (Sat 22nd), Beccles Public Hall (Weds 26th) and Botesdale Village Hall (Sat 29th November).
Affection, love and desire linger on within lives blighted by loneliness and disappointment in this classic drama set in a small seaside hotel in the 1950s. Rattigan's sensitive portrayal of middle class hypocrisy is packed with humour and compassion.
In the first of the two one-act plays which comprise Separate Tables the stormy relationship between an ex-MP and his former wife is laid bare as they meet years after their troubled marriage dissolved into acrimony.
The friendship between a shy young woman and a retired Army officer is depicted in the second play which explores the seedy intolerance of individuals clinging to the strict social and sexual codes of a bygone era.
Touring November 2014
Fri. November 14 – Diss Corn Hall 01379 652241
Sat. November 15 – The Cut, Halesworth 0845 673 2123
Tues. November 18 – Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft 01502 589726
Thur. November 20 – Fisher Theatre, Bungay 01986 8897130
Sat. November 22 – Hoxne Village Hall 01379 855101
Wed. November 26 – Beccles Public Hall 01502 770060
Sat November 29 – Botesdale Village Hall 01379 855101
Tickets £9.50 and £8.50 (concessions)
All performances start 7.30pm