The single most enthralling piece of theatre I have ever seen.
This autobiographical play by Tennessee Williams is about a young writer who takes up residency in a guest house and the other people who live there. Never have I been so drawn in to a play and captivated by every word said.
As a writer, Williams put his name to may shows you will recognise. ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ to name but two. Vieux Carre though, unfortunately is one of his lesser known pieces.
The tiny theatre, at the back on the Kings Head Theatre in Islington doesn’t make it easy to stage three beds and a piano on the stage and means the audience end up getting more involved than they bargained for! When a naked man gets out of bed and your face is only a few inches from his rear, it’s a bit of a shock but that is one of the reasons this play hasn’t been performed for 30 years. The controversial storyline covers a multitude of difficult subjects including the rape of a woman and the sexual assault of a young man by a much older gentleman.
With a crazy landlady and a nurse that thinks she would be better off homeless and living on the streets than bearing the brunt of her keeper, there are no dull moments in this show.
Why this show is hidden away from the West End I do not know. It is a brilliantly written, superbly acted piece that needs to come into town and be performed on a larger stage so that the world can see it.
You may not have heard of Vieux Carre before but if you are a theatre fan you must go and see it. With tickets only £10-25.00, this show is worth ten times that price.