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Stindberg’s Playing With Fire concerns a visit by a close friend of a young couple at their family summer house. The husband’s father keeps a mistress around along with the mother who all somewhat gets along together.  and tells the events of a morning and the intention of the visitor unravels. This play was originally billed as a comedy but in this new translation and production by Anna Ostergren, it is a rather dramatic and joke free play. Some of the remarks can be construed as a comically scathing remark but it is rather lost in the production. The main problem with this play is the acting. While Tallulah Sheffield and Andrew Wilson who play the young couple are good, suitably demonstrating the conflicts and pull of a couple in crisis, the rest of the cast is distractingly poor. James Heatlie as the visiting Axel is rather charmless and not so much as delivering the lines as saying the lines out loud. With Axel being quite a pivotal character, this has quite a big impact on the play. Also, Samantha Michelle as the mistress Adele is one dimensional as if under the direction of simply playing a cold character and any nuance with the supposed flirtiness with Axel is completely lost. The interrelationship between the characters is a muddle apart from between the couple and Axel which makes the other characters completely redundant. Case and point is Felicty Josling playing the Mother who has precisely four lines with stage time of less than a minute and apart from making the odd point that the Father and Mother are still sort of together, is a waste of an actor turning up to work. The good news is this is a short, 50 minutes production and has a reasonable main storyline which holds up by Sheffield’s performance alone.

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