May 17, 2007
@ OFS Studio, 15-20 May 2007Beverly is one of the most extraordinary creations ever to have graced stage and screen. Alison Steadman and Mike Leigh’s collaborative skills gave birth to a veritable gorgon in a kaftan. The original BBC production looms large over this production – as it almost inevitably will. It is an icon of the 1970s.
Beth Williams gives a very impressive recreation of the role of Beverly. She captured the middle-class neuroses with skill. She is a talented character actress (I was impressed by her performance as Rita last year). I could have wished
that she had brought a fresh approach to this role – but that is just my preference. She gives an excellent performance.
However I do feel that she was outshone by Cathy Thomas as Angela. Here is a performance which pays homage to Janine Duvistki in the original but adds new layers and new approaches which gives her portrayal a wonderful quality.
The rest of the cast (Jack Chetburn, David Workman and Lucy Jackson) each give nuanced performances which all come together under the assured direction of Chloe Masterson to create an excellent piece of student theatre.
There is always a dark edge in Mike Leigh’s work – this production doesn’t shy away from that. It is a play that makes you shudder in horror as well as causing fits of laughter.
A talented cast – an iconic play. Catch one of the final 3 performances.