Suffolk Summer Theatres brings its 2015 season to a close with Daphne du Maurier’s September Tide, which, although set immediately after the Second World War, has a nicely contemporary feel to it. Set in a Cornish fishing village, London-based art student Cherry brings Evan, her new husband, home to meet Stella, her mother.
Although, seemingly shocked by Cherry’s liberal attitudes to sex, Stella, who has for years been gently rebuffing the advances of the local harbourmaster, suddenly finds herself foolishly besotted with Evan. He, too, now only has eyes for Stella.
Phil Clark gives the play plenty of energy but this production highlights one of inherent problems of rep theatre – if you cast for the season then not every actor will be a perfect fit for all the roles they are required to play.
While Eliza McCelland and Rosanna Miles fizz and spark off one another as mother and daughter, Chris Clarkson’s Evan Davies seems too sullen to ensnare the strong-minded Stella.
Jill Freud, the company’s founder, makes her only appearance of the season but brings a lot of nuanced detail to Stella’s no-nonsense housekeeper. She helps us see the real family relationships.
Set designer Maurice Rubens finishes his 25th season on a high with an imaginative visualisation of a palatial seaside house which becomes another character in the story.
A solid and intriguing end to the season.