Review by: Paul Towers, 26/10/2015
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
A Curve Production directed by Nikolai Foster
Leicester Curve 16 Oct to 7 November
“brooding and brimming with sexual tension”
Tennessee Williams’ 1947 dissection of the class system of America’s Deep South is plain to see in this story of the descent into madness of aspirational fantasist Blanche Dubois amid a fog of good ‘ole Southern liquor.
Ms Dubois, displaced from what she regards as her rightful place as mistress of the family estate by a failure to keep up the mortgage on the property, boards the titular Streetcar of Desire to seek refuge with her sister, Stellar, and her husband Stanley in a godforsaken backwater. She and Stanley immediately lock horns as blue collar worker meets wishful old aristocrat. In this pressure cooker of emotions and class warfare sexual jockeying and violent frustrations emerge driving Blanche ever closer to the funny farm.
Leading this excellent cast is ex-Eastender Charlie Brooks, a revelation as the neurotic, hysterical and fragile Blanche Dubois. Stewart Clarke as Stanley Kowalski, her nemesis, is brooding and brimming with sexual tension as the drunken, violent wife beater eating up the scenery.
The set is suitably tatty and decrepit with flickering lights intermittently lit by the unreliable local power supply; the action regularly interrupted by the deafening roar as the next Streetcar of Desire thunders past the forgotten population.
A Streetcar Named Desire is at Curve until Saturday 7 November