Vieux Carre

Wilma’s rating: [rating=5]

Where: Charing Cross Theatre, Villers Street, WC2N 6NL

How much: £16.00-£19.50

When: Wednesday-Saturday’s 7.30pm until 1st September

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When I first saw this show back in the Kings Head Theatre, Islington I was captivated by the intensity of it. So when it announced it was transferring into the West End I was obviously overjoyed!In my original review, I called Vieux Carre “The single most enthralling piece of theatre I have ever seen” and I stand by that statement.

This autobiographical play by Tennessee Williams is about a young writer who takes up residency in a guest house and gets more than he bargained for with the other residents.

Vieux Carre is one of Tennessee Williams less well known plays but probably his most autobiographical  ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ are two of his better known pieces.

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. Mostly it is about a one mans journey to find himself.

Helen Sheals plays the role of Mrs Wire so differently from Nancy Crane who starred in the original production at the Kings Head Theatre. Both fantastic portrayals, but Helen brings to life just how crazy the landlady really is. Mrs Wire has been so consumed with the residents of her rooming house and whether they are abiding by the rules, that she has neglected a mirror for years and looks rather dishevelled.

Vieux Carre is superbly directed by Robert Chevara and has been wonderfully adapted to work in a theatre three times the size of where it was originally staged. The ending is one of the most beautiful moments I have ever seen.

Brilliantly written and superbly acted, this show should not be missed by any theatre fan.