Playwright - David Hare
Director - Richard Baron
Designer - Trevor Coe
Company - Pitlochry Theatre Company
Venue - Pitlochry Festival Theatre www.pitlochry.org.uk 01796 484626
Dates - see listings for details
Reviewer - Jan Natanson
This is a subtle , thought provoking play exploring the nature of love, divided loyalties and the patterns of emotional ties within families, tackling themes of politics, class and even about theatre itself and its relevance and relationship to modern life. It's not a didactic or issue based piece - it's more than that. On the way home an audience will mull over such issues and appreciate the playwright's subtlety in skilfully introducing and weaving these themes through an interesting and emotionally satisfying drama. A play of many layers yet with some very good jokes, Amy's View is both an enjoyable evening at the theatre and a play which makes you think.
Giving us glimpses of the family during the 1970s, 80s and 90s, we follow Amy, Amanda Beveridge, as she is torn between her love for the selfish and attractive Domenic, Matthew Chambers, and her adored but equally self centred actress mother Esme, Alice Fraser. As family fortunes rise and fall over the decades - Domenic rises to fame and wealth while Esme loses everything when , as an unlucky member of a Lloyds syndicate, she becomes a victim of the system - we follow the development of the tortuous three way relationship of Amy, Domenic and Esme.
This is a fine piece of ensemble playing by the cast, inculding the supporting actors Dilys Hamlett, Micheal Mackenzie and Steven Kynman. All bring their individual strengths to their roles, creating strongly authentic characters that develop throughout the play. The ability of the actors to make such character development physical -beyond the superficial ( but rather well done ) changes in hairstyle and clothes - is to be commended. The last scene , when for the first time we see Esme being truly herself - that is as a working actress preparing for a performance ( ironically the only time she is stripped of make-up) - leads to a satisfying emotional climax that is both authentic in its restraint and dramatic in the best sense of the word. This is a well crafted play and the actors, director and set bring their own craft to the drama to do it justice.
© Jan Natanson August 2001
AMY'S VIEW by David Hare Alice Fraser as Esme Allen.
Photographs by Keith Brame.