There’s an interesting double-header of early work by Tennessee Williams at the Burton Taylor this week.
Green Eyes is first up, a torrid tale from 1971 of a soldier and his new bride (no, not Harry and Megan this time) who wake up in a
The second and longer play, The Parade, is much more autobiographical, having its origins in an affair Williams had with a 22-year-old Canadian draft dodger in 1940, although it took him until 1962 before he declared that his many times revised play was complete. He said that, 'it recorded that pivotal summer when I took a crash course in growing up.' So last night we met fictional Don, who is hopelessly in love with Dick, a well-built dancer. However, Dick is in love with Wanda, and to add to the ménage, Don is himself pursued by Miriam. It’s a similar plot to the longer, more complex and better known play, Something Cloudy, Something Clear, which was written in 1981. The Parade does stand on its own, and is a significant work, as it outs Williams’ writing about his sexual desires. The central pairing of Don and Miriam is very successfully presented by the talented Jeremiah O’Mahoney and Casey Adam. Their chemistry works well and they bring out the tensions created by the needs of their characters. Louis Davidson makes a good fist of the cheesecake, Dick, whilst Katherine Cook supports Dick convincingly as the lovely Wanda. They are all believable performances.
Although dated, these fascinating plays still pack a relevant punch today, thanks to Director Annoushka Clear’s and Producer Helen Hayes’ admirable work.