BAC (Battersea Arts Centre), London SW11
Opened 20 March, 1991

Setting Strindberg's sex-and-class struggle in the colonial West Indies heightens the inequalities between its main antagonists. Cooke hasn't laboured the relocation; the mistress-servant tensions sit more tellingly in these imperialistic surroundings. But, curiously, the acerbity and sarcasm of Jean's lines were undermined at the performance I caught by the very faithfulness of Linford Brown's Caribbean delivery, leading the audience to react to the play as if it were a class comedy. Perhaps not true to the spirit of the play, but imbuing now familiar dilemmas with unexpected additional power and lending the piece an unpredictable fascination.

Written for City Limits magazine.

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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