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A Streetcar Named Desire
10th April 2018 - 14th April 2018
“Every man is a king.” Stanley Kowalski is no exception.
Until one summer, when his sister-in-law Blanche comes to stay.
Anxious, seductive and fiercely clever, Blanche is just about keeping it together. But her arrival threatens his entire way of life.
As the temperature soars and passions intensify, a burning desire threatens to tear their world apart.
This bold new revival of Tennessee Williams’s timeless masterpiece is a fiery portrayal of what it means to be an outsider, in a society where we’re all desperate to belong.
Age recommendation: 14+
FREE PRE-SHOW TALK: Tuesday 10th April at 6:30pm
A fantastic opportunity to find out more about the productions with members of the Company and to ask questions. Advance booking essential – please book your tickets HERE.
TOUCH TOUR: Wednesday 11th April at 1pm
This is an opportunity for blind and partially sighted theatre goers to go on-stage and familiarise themselves with the set, costumes, props and to meet cast members to begin associating voices with characters.
AUDIO DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE: Wednesday 11th April at 2:30pm.
Audio description is a live verbal commentary that provides information on the visual aspects of a production as it unfolds. Descriptions of the sets, costumes, props, the actors’ facial expressions and body language, fit around dialogue and music to complete the picture for visually impaired people – who listen to it using a headset.
CAPTIONED PERFORMANCE: Thursday 12th April 7.30pm
An English Touring Theatre, Theatr Clwyd and Nuffield Southampton Theatres co-production supported by a grant from The Royal Theatrical Support Trust under its RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award scheme. The cast are Amber James, Will Bliss, Dexter Flanders, Joe Manjon, Maria Louis, Nicole Agada, Patrick Knowles and Kelly Gough.
★★★★ “Brutal, riveting interpretation of the Tennessee Williams classic.” The Stage
★★★★ “Walker has masterfully made this Tennessee for the Time’s Up era.” The Stage
★★★★ “Extraordinary moments. Makes us believe in the magic of theatre.” The Guardian
Production Photographs by The Other Richard
Rehearsal Photographs by The Other Richard
Choice Radio Worcester
Considered by many to be Tennessee Williams' finest work, A Streetcar Named Desire has had a number of interpretations over the years, both on stage and most notably in the 1951 film, with Karl Malden, Marlon Brando and Kim Hunter reprising their Broadway roles and joined by Vivien Leigh from the London production taking the central part of Blanche Dubois.
English Touring Company has carried out a reboot of the play, keeping it in its location of the New Orleans French Quarter but making it more contemporary in terms of the script, action and music. By doing so, it is not a period piece relating to a particular time but something which makes it clear that its themes of desire, power, loneliness, violence, homosexuality and guilt are inherent in today's society as much as when it was written in 1947.
Blanche has chosen to visit her older sister Stella after the "loss" of the family home in Laurel, Mississippi. Stella is married, living in uncomfortable conditions and about to have a baby with the very masculine and abusive character Stanley, who she refers to in a derogatory fashion as a Polack. The couple never hit it off, particularly as he becomes suspicious of her motives and background.
It is telling that none of the male characters except Mitch (a potential suitor for Blanche) comes out of this with any integrity at all, being more boozy poker-playing louts than southern gentlemen, raising questions as to why Stella is devoted to Stanley.
By giving it a more modern, contemporary feel, it allows the soundtrack to include Madonna and Kanye West and a glitterball used to clever effect on the stage, which consists of two rooms and an upstairs area. There was also a large amount of jazz music played throughout, often discordant, but in keeping with the scenario being played out at the time. Being a play set in the Deep South, the accents meant that you had to stay attuned to what was being said. though the performance reviewed here had the definite benefit of being captioned on either side of the stage.
It is fair to say that the staging of the play in this way will not appeal to everyone. But for those who enjoy a classic play being updated and brought to a new audience whilst making it something relevant to today as opposed to 70 years ago, it will be something they will appreciate.
Wow! A superb evening. Loved the physicality and found the whole production enthralling. Kelly Gough's performance was extraordinary.
Brilliant theatre 🎭 fantastic performance
Took my 17 year old daughter to see this, as she is studying it for A level. I am not normally a theatre-goer, but really enjoyed it. Kelly Gough was superb and completely captivating as the iconic Blanche DuBois. Bravo !
The reviewers at The Guardian and The Times seemed to think this production was marvellous but sadly, sitting in row L of the stalls, we could hear little of the dialogue. Don't they teach actors projection any more?
Me and my girl friends really enjoyed seeing this last Friday evening. I wasn't bored for a nano second and my thresh hold for provincial theatre is pretty low! For some reason there were no programmes for sale on our entry which is a shame as I always buy one to check out the actors/production team etc. The lead girl was young to play Blanche but she totally pulled it off.
Disappointing. Blanche looked far too young and lithe which undermines the essence of her role as someone desperate as her looks fade. The males were turned into adolescent idiots - Williams wrote them as brutal but as men. The subtlety of Blanche’s attitude to Stanley - repulsed yet attracted - was sacrificed in a savage rape (not to be found in the original text) to suit the Director’s avowed #metoo “message”. The pop songs added a clunky and unintentionally comic juke box musical effect that undermined the play’s serious themes.
brilliant the cast nust be exhausted such passionate acting well done
As a a drama student and follow actress, I would like to express that I am aware of how difficult it can be to modernise a production set in a specific time period. However, many who I saw the production with me would agree that this truly did not work nor did it follow any of the intentions of Tennessee Williams, making a very disappointing performance. I wish I could say that the acting redeemed this, however many of the accents and basic stagecraft did not at all come across. Even the ending was unfaithful as you used the censored version but still explicitly showed sexual scenes? If, like me, you went to see this for revision of the play, I would not recommend this however it is mediocre enough for those just attending for "entertainment".