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September Tide at the Theatre Royal Windsor

Published by: Clare Brotherwood on 10th Jun 2015 | View all blogs by Clare Brotherwood

 

 

 

Half way through its six-week season, the Windsor Repertory Company is proving very popular.

 

It’s a mixed bag, with plays by Francis Durbridge, David Hare, Noel Coward, and Alan Ayckbourn among them. And this week’s offering is Daphne Du Maurier’s moral tale, September Tide.

 

The play, written and set in 1948, charts the relationship of Stella Martyn, a middle-aged widow, and her new son-in-law, famous artist Evan Davis, who fall in love without telling each other until the tide turns, and a turbulent September storm runs parallel with their emotions.

 

Set in designer David Shields’ authentic Cornish cottage, it is easy to be drawn into this riveting tale. Ellen Verenieks as Stella, although not my idea of a mother of two grown-up children, is caring, sensitive and lonely, and an obvious target for the self-obsessed artist, played by James Lawrence.

 

Her children are monsters. Jimmy (John Askew) on sick leave from the Navy, orders her about, while her daughter – and Evan’s wife – Cherry is selfish and spoilt, and Sarah Dungworth portrays her to a T, even to stomping around like a petulant little girl.

 

James Pellow as family friend Robert Hanson, although looking out for Stella, really is depressing, wonderfully so, while Julie Ross as Mrs Tucket, is everything a housekeeper should be.

 

I was riveted by this production, even though there were some things which weren’t quite right, and which director Max Reynolds may like to address. Having just finished a painting, which looked like oils, Evan props it up against another – surely the paint would have still been wet. And when he burns his painting of Stella he rips off a flimsy piece of paper from the frame, when you’d expect him to be painting on canvas. And why, when Stella had made her attic into Evan’s studio, was he painting in the living room? The men’s clothes didn’t match the period, either.

 

But these are minor points which didn’t spoil my enjoyment of this intriguing play.

 

September Tide is at the Theatre Royal Windsor until June 13 and is part of the Windsor Repertory Season which continues until 4 July.

 

Box Office: 01753 853888

 

www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

 

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