In The Bar of A Tokyo Hotel – Charing Cross Theatre

In The Bar of A Tokyo Hotel – Charing Cross Theatre

★★★★

Written By Tennessee Williams using his wide-spread life experiences, this is an interesting and intriguing piece. The set of a Tokyo hotel bar in 1969 gives an air of sophistication, steeply raked the audience clearly see the cast on stage. Crisp, clean and simple, having been to Tokyo it brought back memories of my visit, whilst not that long ago, the culture and decor still provides the same ambience today.

Photo Credit Scott Rylander

Photo Credit Scott Rylander

The cast led by Linda Marlowe follow in the simple set footsteps being a class act. This play requiring a mass of concentration is complex and layered. Each of the audience members will no doubt have different meaning to it. Indeed amongst my friends I met up with, we all had differing ideas and opinions during the conversations in the interval and after we agreed to disagree, each person feeling they were right?

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Photo Credit Scott Rylander

As I’m writing the review you will get my version which is obviously the right one, said with tongue firmly in cheek! A wife is sat in the hotel bar (Linda Marlow) while her husband (David Whitworth) is satisfying his urge to paint. A successful artist we are led to believe, his wife appearing to be neglected and sacrificed for his passion. The conversation is being held between Marlowe and barman (Andrew Koji). She is trying to unsuccessfully goad or tempt him to be unfaithful whilst he reiterates he is happily engaged and faithful. Now that sounds like a fairly plain and rather superficial plot line but oh my goodness if you think that, you really haven’t read or sampled Tennessee Williams intricate work.

Photo Credit Scott Rylander

Photo Credit Scott Rylander

The acting is so deep, with its calculated and precise delivery that you find yourself totally engrossed waiting for the next line, each time, ready to dissect and decipher your particular meaning and emphasis on where the story is going from there. Marlowe is superb in the way she manages to convince you that she is just a vain women, who’s a unashamed adulterer married to her husband for over thirty years and whose only enjoyment in life is to seduce and entrap men. However I don’t believe this to be true because Marlowe is so clever that you actually go from loathing to pity in just one line sometimes, a really class act.

Koji as the embarrassed and uncomfortable barman is believable while Whitworth her husband is to be pitied seeking solitude in his painting. Whitworth with his huge aspirations but who has a feeling of failure thus turning him into an alcoholic and both mentally and physically fragile.

Director Robert Chevara expertly guides this splendid cast to gain every last drop of depth and meaning from this beautifully written and intelligent play.

A real masterpiece and masterclass in acting from all, but particularly Linda Marlowe who is utterly superb!

In The Bar of A Tokyo Hotel – Charing Cross Theatre

★★★★

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