Supposedly a tale of sex, love, friendship and the glamour of growing old, there was great promise for this rendition of Tennessee’s least performed plays. With a respectable cast and a dying widow for a protagonist, there was great potential. Unfortunately, the widow’s memoirs were more of a dull essay as the emptiness of the script gives little for the audience to grasp onto.
Flora “Sissy” Goforth (Linda Marlowe) is a Georgian belle, who is dictating her memoirs to her secretary ‘Blackie’ (Lucie Shorthouse) when they are suddenly interrupted by an intruder; Chris Flanders (Sanee Raval). It is soon revealed that Flanders has curated the nickname ‘the angel of death’ due to his suspicious nature of befriending older, richer women.
Performed on a traverse stage, the director (Robert Chevara) has the actors performing outward toward a wall, making it difficult to feel any sort of connection with the performances. The characters find themselves standing at random points on the stage with no real intention, and will sometimes use the stairs by the audience which was possibly the only exciting staging decision throughout the play. They all seemed one-dimensional and flat, with a strange pace to the speech and accents that made it difficult to understand Tennessee’s unique language.
Sara Kestelman who plays the ‘Witch of Capri’ is the only actor who has any sort of hold on the audience despite being given a flat character to play with. Unfortunately, her talent is wasted.
The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore is performing at the Charing Cross Theatre until 22nd October.
Photo: Nick Haeffner