The Hotel Plays – Green Eyes, The Travelling Companion, Sunburst review at Grange Holborn Hotel
Three short, late plays by Tennessee Williams add little to his reputation but offer small sidelights on his other work.
In Green Eyes, a couple who married in too much haste awake the next morning to discover that they don’t know or even like each other much. Apart from a laboured attempt to shoehorn in an anti-war message, it plays like a false start or out-take from Vieux Carre.
The Travelling Companion is an open self-portrait of an ageing writer who relies on the paid company of young men. Here his latest pick-up feigns outrage at the discovery that he is expected to share his patron’s bed, but an accommodation is negotiated. Autobiography is insufficiently translated into art, though John Guerrasio as the older man achieves a sympathetic characterisation that is more than impersonation.
Sunburst, the most successful of the three plays, has some of the earthy comic energy of Williams’ earliest plays, as an invalid woman is the target of thieves so inept that she doesn’t have to do a lot to outsmart them. It is little more than an extended revue sketch, but allows for a droll performance by Carol Macready.
Performing the three plays in a hotel, with the audience led from room to room, is a mild novelty which adds very little that couldn’t have been achieved in a more conventional staging.
Grange Holborn Hotel, October 4-27
- Tennessee Williams
- James Hillier, Anthony Brooks, Robert Hastie
- Clare Latham, Matt Milne, John Guerrasio, Laurence Dobiesz, Carol Macready, Charlie Hollway, Joshua Silver, Royce Pierreson
- Running time
- 90 mins
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