The King’s Players – ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ Review
An astonishing adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ classic play by King’s own theatre society
It is no surprise that The King’s Players’ production of Tennessee Williams’ controversial masterpiece, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, completely filled each and every seat in the Strand Anatomy Museum this Friday night: as soon as the audience stepped foot inside the usually plain room, they were instantly transported into Stanley and Stella Kowalski’s small New Orleans apartment, where the majority of the play is set. Set designers Sophie Altham and Amy Baker immersed their audience within the peculiar yet powerful set arrangement, as they placed props all around the room, even hanging from the ceiling on washing lines. With an incredible creative team behind a stellar set of actors, the play was set up for success.
The cast’s impressive acting made the audience laugh, fall in love and cry in moments of fear, anger and sadness, as they told the story of Blanche DuBois, a schoolteacher who unexpectedly moves in with her estranged sister Stella and her husband Stanley in a small town in New Orleans, in order to escape her tumultuous life back in Mississippi.
The role of Blanche DuBois, previously acted out by Vivien Leigh in the classic 1951 film adaptation of the play, was portrayed by the star of the show, Rebecca Lewis, who perfectly channelled DuBois’ famous Southern-belle ways, from her mannerisms, appearance and even her accent. Lewis’ devotion to the character was evident, as her profound emotions resonated with the audience in various moments of the play, causing many who were watching – including myself – to find themselves in a pool of tears more than once.
The heavy nature of the play has often caused it to be the topic of discussion for many critics, as the strong scenes of violence, abuse and of sheer human realness can strike a chord with most of those who watch it – if you make the clever decision of catching this Sunday’s final performance, make sure to bring a pack of tissues with you.
Rebecca Lewis as Blanche DuBois
Nick Carter as Stanley Kowalski
Beth Mabin as Stella Kowalski
Dan Thomassen as Harold ‘Mitch’ Mitchell
Evie Ayres-Townshend as Eunice Hubbell
Vincent Fabri as Steve Hubbell
Arsenity Novak as Pablo Gonzales
Maddie Penfold as Heather/Flower Seller/Matron
Adam Walker-Kavanagh as Doctor/Man
Alexander Naile as Young Collector/Sailor
Director – Sara Malik
Assistant Director – Emily Brown
Producer – Niall Dingle
Set – Sophie Altham and Amy Baker
Costume – Josephine Pruvot-Warrin, Talia Stern and Veronica Victa
Lighting – Annie Chen
Music – Kian Yarand
Photography – Katie Edwards and Lara Peters
Trainee Producer – Joana Furthmann
Dialect Coach – Alys Murray
Makeup Artist – Victoria Jaramillo
Special thanks to the entire King’s Players team for allowing me to review this fantastic play – and photo cred. to photographers Katie Edwards and Lara Peters.