dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

A Sense of Justice review at Perth Theatre

Understandably there was an air of excitement around Perth Theatre on opening night of a play which didn’t even exist two weeks previously. Vivien Adam’s adaptation of the planned Night Must Fall did not meet with approval from Emlyn Williams’ trustees so the author was given a week to come up with another piece to match not only the contracted six actors but Nigel Hook’s excellent fifties set – a country residence of decaying opulence.

The fact that it went off without any apparent hitches is a triumph for all concerned under the directorship of Ken Alexander, whose magic touch is bringing the crowds back to Perth Theatre.

The cast were offered to take the money and run but it is to their credit that the sextet, led by big names Rula Lenska and Nicholas Bailey, did not and so, the curtain went up on an unexpected world premiere.

Keeping it in the thriller mode of the tall, dark stranger genre, the play centres round the not so merry widow Stella – a commanding performance by Rula Lenska – and her transformation following the meeting with Ben, played with controlled menace by Nicholas Bailey.

Needless to say, the family are none too happy when he moves in. Eithne Browne is a delight as sister Susan, the high moralist with an equally high intake of alcohol, while Stewart McLean lends a quiet authority to her husband Neil. There is also good interplay between Joanne Mitchell as daughter Millie and Paul Nivison as her hen-pecked husband Paterson.

A touch of inevitability – not helped by the necessity to have gunshot warnings posted around the theatre – but the author has accurately grasped the fifties feel. A work in progress, perhaps.

Production Information

Perth Theatre, January 2-February 12

Author
Vivien Adam
Director
Ken Alexander
Producer
Perth Theatre
Cast
Rula Lenska, Nicholas Bailey, Joanne Mitchell, Eithne Browne, Stewart McLean, Paul Nivison
Running time
2hrs 5mins

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
^