This is the theatrical debut of the film director Joe Wright and after his acclaimed works such as Attonement and Anna Karenina, it should be an interesting prospect to see if that skill transfers well to theatre. The play he chose to work on is the comedietta by Arthur Wing Pinero in a new version by Patrick Marber. Set in Victorian times, It concerned an leading theatrical actress, Trelawny of the Wells, who decided to retire and court an upper class gentleman. She left her friends who were far more free spirited “troubadors” like herself and tried to fit in to her new upper class setting. After it didn’t turn out as well as she had hoped, she went back to her work in theatre with mixed success. Thematically, it was about class and life in the theatre. There were enough jokes and comedic moments to pass the time but the main problem of the production was the direction. It was all too flat and there was a general lack of energy and pace. Everything felt it was gently squeezed out and there a complete lack of momentum. However, the cast and the casting was superb, everyone was extremely capable. In particular, Amy Morgan who played the title role Rose Trelawny who managed to genuinely convey her change from a flamboyant thespian to her desire for a quieter life and domesticity after the initial courting of her suitor and returned to the theatre. The stage was an old fashioned raised stage with a rake and framing columns to emphasise the theatrical nature of the play and the period of the play. Overall, it was an uneventful evening with good performances and some gentle laughter and sadly let down by the lack of pace and energy.


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