Wait Until Dark – The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
The New Wolsey Theatre is a fantastic venue for such productions as it allows high quality theatre along with a sense of intimacy in the performance space.
Brought to the New Wolsey by The Original Theatre Company, “Wait until Dark’ Is probably best known for the film version of the play starring Audrey Hepburn in 1967. Following in the footsteps of Hepburn in this production as Susy, the young blind housewife who becomes the victim of an elaborate three-way con in her own living room, is Karina Jones.
It’s obvious to say she has big shoes to fill but more importantly, I believe this is the first time a blind actress has played the part of a blind person in this play and Karina doesn’t disappoint. She tackles the part with such great aplomb. The role is both physically demanding and requires a true powerhouse performance. She switches from strength to vulnerability with ease and watching her it’s easy to believe she is also a very talented circus aerialist.
She is pitted against the three con-men Jack Ellis as Mike, the master of mind games, Graeme Brookes as Croker the brawn of the trio and Tim Treloar as Roat who displayed scarily psychotic tendencies. They work so well together that it’s a great combination. The mix of their bumbling errors and attempt to get the upperhand gave levels of mystery and intrigue which was great to watch.
Oliver Mellor as Susy’s husband Sam gave some lightness to what could otherwise be a very dark evening of theatre but the rest of the contrast came from Shannon Rewcroft who was delightful as Gloria the moody girl upstairs who morphs from being a ‘difficult child’ into Susy’s sidekick and who wishes ‘things like this happened every day’!
The set was the perfect backdrop which allowed us to peer through the fourth wall into the lives of Sam and Susy and the lighting added all the lovely touches required. It was a pity the fire exit lights kept switching on and off during one of the most dramatic highlights of the show which was hugely distracting and the final show down in the bedroom did honestly sound like someone bashing pots and pans in the wings causing a number of the audience to giggle which did diminish the tension.
However, the whole piece was such a strong piece of theatre and resounded with me despite it being over 50 years old. If you can get a ticket for the rest of the tour – you won’t be disappointed.