At the start of this review, perhaps I should declare that I’m a great fan of David Hare and now, having just seen this play for the first time, my prejudice is confirmed.
It must be a great asset for both director and actors to be working with top class material, and fortunately in this instance they all do the piece justice.
And, of course, we witness a compelling story plus Hare administering his usual kicking to the establishment.
We follow the progress of Susan Traherne from her time behind enemy lines in WWII France, to her life as a diplomat’s wife post war.
After the excitement and adrenaline of COE work, she has problems returning to England and the more mundane expectations of post war life.
“I have a weakness. I like to lose control,” she says, which doesn’t always make her a sympathetic character.
As the Suez crisis goes wrong she tells Leonard Darwin, her husband’s boss in the Diplomatic service, “Nobody will say ‘Death rattle of the ruling class.’ We have stuck our lips together with marron glace.” Meaning, of course, the opposite.
As Susan almost self destructs, she also destroys the career of her long suffering husband, Brock (brilliant Marc Bessant), whom she first met in Brussels where he tells her, “We sit about polishing our jokes.”
An excellent set with faultless cast in great period tailoring, this is a play not to be missed.
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Reviewer: Philip Horton
Plenty by Sir David Hare, presented by Next Stage Theatre Company and directed by Alison Paine, is showing at the Mission Theatre in Bath until Saturday 30th March 2019.
For more information, and tickets, visit the Mission Theatre website.