Suddenly Last Summer Review

Category: Suddenly Last Summer Reviews | Posted by: admin
Article Date: April 14, 1999 | Publication: The Daily Mail | Author: Editors
Publication/Article Link:

"An indoor jungle is filled with frozen sculptures of insect-eating tropical plants. Smoke rises and birds screech in the background. Welcome to the Gothic world of Tennessee Williams, and this steamy shocker of a 1958 play about the mysterious death of an unknown poet who, like Dorian Gray, refused to grow old. The details emerge in an emotional power struggle between his mother, Mrs Venable, and the poet's cousin, Catharine, who accompanied the dead Sebastian on his last trip abroad. These contestants are played by the rampaging Sheila Gish and the ravishing Rachel Weisz... although Sean Mathilas's production is a little shrill as yet, you know you are in the presence of a theatrical poet of the first rank. We may be locked in a closed world, but the metaphor of depravity emerges against a distant landscape of hatching sea-turtles and naked beggar children on a volcanic island. Johanna Kirby is the cowed maid, Julia Swift Catharine's mother all in a tizzy, and Tim Matthews her pain of a brother, keen to get his hands on Sebastian's money. The play finally grips like a vice, not least because of Tim Hatley's amazing design and Jason Carr's nerve-jangling soundtrack."