There is undoubtedly a challenge set when performing plays by Tennessee Williams. Actors and theatre companies alike take on the mantle of greatness set by his plays, and this is particularly true in the recent production of Suddenly Last Summer by Red Stitch - the Actors' Theatre.
Suitably compelling, this local production does not waiver in its delivery of this dark, Southern tale however. Offering powerful performances from start to finish, the play proves eerily haunting, filled with strong leads like Aunt Violet (Jennifer Vuletic), Catharine (Kate Cole) and supporting cast, but more so, the show displays the brutal contempt insanity (now mental illness) was once held in, and the consequences of having the wrong point of view in a conservative society.
Coming to life with the harrowing narratives of Aunt Violet and Catherine, the audience slowly pieces together the tale of Sebastian's death. Seeking revenge and atonement for the death of her son, Sebastian's mother, Violet entices a young doctor to meet Catharine and to consider performing a lobotomy on Catharine, who she seeks to silence (as she hates the 'rumors' she has spread) but soon finds that Catharine's truth is more horrid and complex than anyone expected.
Intelligently written, the play is full of symbolic metaphors, commenting on the ruthless nature of mother nature but more so on the futile nature of our own human condition. The play's climax has a simple yet effective final twist, presenting characters' that are almost real and a wonderfully written script, giving a play that warns against the excesses of life and which leaves behind a story that lingers long after the play has ended.
Dates: 5 Oct - 4 November 2018
Location: Red Stitch Actors Theatre, Rear 2 Chapel St, St Kilda
Times: 8pm nightly