Share |

Kiss of Death at the Theatre Royal Windsor

Published by: Clare Brotherwood on 8th Feb 2017 | View all blogs by Clare Brotherwood

After many decades as a theatre reviewer, nowadays when someone asks me what play I’ve just seen I often can’t remember! But such is Simon Williams’ gift for playwriting that his previous productions are lodged firmly in my brain and I’ve found them hugely enjoyable. Unfortunately, Kiss of Death will be memorable, but not for the right reasons.

The trouble is, this talking Scarlet production is woefully under-rehearsed. On the opening night the actors were speaking their lines rather than performing them and there were issues with the sound, including lack of projection, while the set, which is little more than a mishmash of chairs, adds nothing to the ambience. In fact, there isn’t any. It’s a travesty that a production which carries the name of such a distinguished actor as Williams is allowed to be performed in such an unfinished state.

It’s not as if the cast don’t know what they are doing. All four members have solid backgrounds. David Janson has appeared in everything from The Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night to TV comedies ‘Allo ‘Allo and Keeping Up Appearances, and from working with the RSC to panto, while his daughter Ciara Janson spent three years in Hollyoaks before making her West End debut. And Peter Lovstrom and Davies Palmer both have many film, TV and stage credits. Yet they failed to make their characters or the storyline in any way believable. Only Ciara Janson shows any form of emotion.

It’s a complicated, imaginative plot, with many twists, and, done properly, would be a spine-tingling psychological thriller, if a little off-beat. It all centres on actress Zoe Lang (Ciara Janson) who finds herself auditioning to be the bait for a real life serial killer, but even when the sardonic murderer reveals himself there is no real feeling of menace, and two policemen handling such a big case shouts a tight budget! In this state it also feels disjointed; it’s very slow to start – building up the tension, I kindly thought, but I soon realised it was because it lacked pace.

Let’s hope Patric Kearns, director, designer and artistic director of talking Scarlet, takes a hard look at the production and puts things right. I have always admired Williams’ writing – both his plays and novels – and I wouldn’t want anyone to judge him by this one.

Kiss of Death is at the Theatre Royal Windsor until Feb 11

Box Office: 01753 853888

 

www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

Comments

0 Comments

     
Please login or sign up to post on this network.
Click here to sign up now.