Susan Stanley-Carroll was captivated by Tryst, at the Chiswick Playhouse
Chiswick Playhouse, Bath Road, Chiswick, W4 1LW
Dates Wednesday 5th – Saturday 29th February 2020
Monday – Saturday, 7.30pm
Running Time 85 minutes (no interval)
Box Office Preview tickets are available from £15 (5– 6 February).
Box Office number: 020 8995 6035
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“A cracking good yarn,” exclaimed a man from the audience as he left the Chiswick
Playhouse on Wednesday night. He was right.
“Tryst”, a true story, written by Karoline
Leech has been described as a ‘subversive Edwardian melodrama’’. The production lasts
for approximately 90 minutes and although thrillers are not usually my thing this is, on the
whole, an excellent production.
It is about the relationship between George ‘Love’ - dynamically and ‘wickedly’ played by
Fred Perry, and Adelaide Pinchin - a sensitively nuanced, and convincing performance by
Scarlett Brookes. The play opens with George and Adelaide sharing their character’s inner
most thoughts and secrets with the audience.
George is a callous career criminal spurred on by his psychopathic personality and his indulgent fiscal fantasies. Whereas vulnerable, ingenuous Adelaide works conscientiously in a milliner’s shop. She relishes her craft of styling elegant hats but she is absorbed by her poor body image.
Adelaide initially is a love struck rabbit cowering in front of George’s menacing headlights
of eyes. However, on their wedding night she begins to show an intelligence and strength
that for a while knocks George off his comfortable predator’s perch. A riveting verbal
power-struggle ensues - the actors performances were magnetic. The still silence in the
theatre was profound.
George is stunned by his bride’s reaction and rejection to his amorous advances. Yet
despite his violent outbursts she tries to persuade him to set up a millinery shop using her
aunt’s small legacy. Briefly, Mr Love is thwarted by Mrs Love’s determination to keep him
as her husband.
A friend warned me to be prepared for a finish that had startled her. Will it startle you? The
end was swift. But who copped it? Was it Mr Love or Mrs Love?
Phoebe Barran directed “Tryst” ingeniously and Jessica Station designed an innovative set
that complimented every move and change in the action. They miraculously seemed to
create a much larger stage from a very restricted space. Chris McDonnell’s subtle,
atmospheric lighting added an extra visual dimension to the set. The subtle sound effects
and music added to the tense atmosphere created by Fred and Scarlett.
Tryst finishes at the end of February. If this review appeals please phone the Box Office
and book your tickets; find your smelling salts, gaiters, and nip along to ‘Tryst’. For 90
minutes ‘suspend your disbelief’ and enjoy this ‘cracking’ short psychological thriller with
a glass of wine or should it be the Tabard’s best port?
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February 15, 2020