Sunday 19 September 2010

A Passionate Woman at the Hull Truck Theatre- Review

A poignant drama, funny and tender by the Playwright and actress Kate Mellor, ‘A Passionate Woman’ lands at the Hull Truck Theatre skilfully guided by Director Gareth Tudor Price, and after Tuesdays quality, witty and hilarious performance should become a modern classic.
Kay Mellor. Picture by Louise Buckby.
The stage is set as the interior view of an attic; a smorgasbord of discarded paraphernalia. Suddenly an elegant hat appears through the floor closely followed by its wearer, instantly greeted by a great cheer of recognition from the audience.

Kay Mellor, playing Betty took command of the stage and engaged superbly with the audience regaling a tale about her trip to the supermarket. She is joined by her son Mark (played by Anthony Lewis) soon to be married and already dressed in his wedding finery. 
Kay Mellor and Stuart Manning. Picture by Louise Buckby.
It is Mark’s wedding day but the story unfolds around Betty and her memories of a romance early into her marriage to Donald with a young Polish neighbour Craze (Stuart Manning). Craze appears as a ghost and the romance of the past is recreated in a dance scene which transformed the feeling of the whole theatre into a 1950s dance hall complete with dancers on the floor and the audience drawn into the scene round the edges of the room. Witty dialogue and action between Betty, Mark and Craze was masterfully choreographed by Julie Venton.

Anthony Lewis and Andrew Dunn. Picture by Louise Buckby.
The second act begins in the same attic but with Mark and his father Donald (Andrew Dunn). Both are concerned that the wedding is now only a short time away and Betty is showing no signs of going to the church. They suddenly realise she is not in the attic and could not have passed them downstairs. The action moves onto the roof of the house.
Humour, pathos and farce combine in this play timed to perfection. Betty recounts poignant moments from her life, provoking a wave of empathy from the audience moving visibly forward in their seats and nodding in agreement.  At the very end we briefly meet the poor bride (well portrayed by Emma Potter from the Hull Truck Youth Theatre) who has left the church to find out what has happened to her future husband.

Kay Mellor and Stuart Manning. Picture by Louise Buckby.
A quality play which I predict will join the modern classics such as Abigail’s Party and Shirley Valentine. Brilliantly portrayed under the direction of Gareth Tudor Price this play was well cast, cleverly lighted by Graham Kirk and the stage set and costumes very appropriately designed by Foxton. Julie Venton choreographed the proceedings emphasising the actors timing to a Tee. 

As we left to wend our way home we felt that this is how theatre should be. Congratulations to Hull Truck Theatre for this outstanding production.
Denis and Alison for YGG.

A Passionate Woman at the Hull Truck Theatre from Sept 10th - Oct 2nd

For Tickets see 

Box office- 01482 323638

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