The Night Season pays homage to a number of theatrical antecedents (for example, there are three sisters - anyone for Chekhov?), uses Fred Astaire songs for atmosphere and is set in modern day Sligo.
Enter lodger John Eastman (Gabriel Winter), a film actor playing W.B Yeats and setting hearts a-flutter in the Kennedy family females, including eccentric grandmother Lily (Lynne Verrall).
The women’s hopes, aspirations and disappointments.are the core of the play, while the men provide comedy and the love interest.
The oldest sister is Judith (Bettine Mackenzie), a librarian, whose on-off relationship with boyfriend Gary (Josh Meredith) eventually seems happily resolved.
Rose (Alice Beaumont) is the wild child, taking bed-hopping advantage of lodger John, but having to settle for a more equivocal relationship as the curtain falls.
Maud (Evie Guttridge) has an unreliable boyfriend we never meet. She seems little perturbed by his off-stage betrayals, but she is haunted by the absence of the mother she barely remembers.
In a final scene of family unity, all three girls dance at grandmother Lily’s wake. Their problems are not resolved, but put in abeyance in memory of their gran.
The character missing from the play is the Kennedy mother. She seems to have made her escape to London. Having followed the action on stage, I begin to have an inkling as to why.
Once again, East Riding Theatre brings us challenging and thought provoking theatre.
It is the first play directed by the venue’s new artistic director Adrian Rawlins.
The Night Season continues at the East Riding Theatre until Saturday March 25.
Performances are daily at 7.30pm plus matinees on Saturday March 11, 18 and 25 at 2pm.
Tickets are available on Tel: 01482 874050