Author: Tennessee Williams
Director: Marianne Elliott Editor: James Graham
Location: Old Vic Theatre
When we were invited to go and watch Sweet Bird of Youth a the Old Vic theatre, we had developed high hopes. It was a sold out play and being huge Sex and the City fans, we were really looking forward to seeing Kim Cattrall perform on stage.
The play opens with Alexandra Del Lago waking up in a state of amnesia in a hotel in the Deep South of America, she has no idea where she is or how she got there. Beside her, we see an aspiring actor and gigolo, Chance Wayne (Seth Numrich) who has returned back to his home town to reclaim his childhood sweetheart Heavenly (Louise Dylan).
The beautiful thing about the beginning scene is that the characters gradually unfold who they are, this takes you through their life journey. Tennessee allows you to uncover so many colours and flavours to them, for example Chance’s personality changes from one minute to another, just when you think you know him, there’s a twist.
Tennessee seems to outline the importance of time and politics throughout the play. The main characters are struggling with the corrosive power of time. Chance who is a drifter and opportunist, sees his life choices narrowing as he approaches 30. Alexandra Del Lago is still clinging on to her youth but it is clear that she is losing the battle with age.
The play has been edited by James Graham and directed by Marianne Elliott. The beginning scene was too long, Alexandra De Lago and Chance run around the stage for a good hour while they revealed their life story. But there was lot of banter that occasionally made us laugh. Once the scene started to change and other cast members appeared, we loved everything about the play. We thought the staging was on point and were really impressed with the lighting techniques, everything seemed so real.