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Review: The Actor’s Nightmare, at Park Theatre

'My companion, an infrequent theatregoer, told me afterwards: I didn’t really get most of it'

25 July, 2019 — By Clair Chapwell

Kate Sumpter in The Actor’s Nightmare. Photo: Ali Wright

TENNESEE Williams’ heroines crash into a scene in the wrong show, damp with desire demanding sex and babies from the wrong man.

The young idealistic writer clutches his laundry as he is screwed by his demanding agent (Layo-Christina Akinlude) and coked up Hollywood producer (Meaghan Martin).

A moody ukulele solo of Lullaby of Broadway is crooned by Kate Sumpter, who is then danced off the stage in a raunchier, riotous version of the same song by Adrian Richards. Bemused Stefan Menaul finds himself having that actual actor’s nightmare that even real people have in dreams.

He is onstage in three different shows knowing none of the lines.

Six short plays, five stunning actors, magical lighting from Jai Morjaria and sharp direction from Lydia Parker, The Actor’s Nightmare is a well-observed romp through the insanity of the theatrical profession.

The six plays are written by Tony Award-winning Christopher Durang and seen here together for the first time in a world premiere by new production company, 3 hearts canvas.

Like any book of short stories – or boxes of chocolates for that matter – there are some that you like and some that don’t do it for you. I found this to be true here.

This is a sumptuous treat for anyone who has great knowledge of playwriting and is an avid theatregoer.

However, the reverse is also true.

Like the time my son took me to a Spurs game as a special treat and I was bewildered by the agony and ecstasy around me, my companion, an infrequent theatregoer told me afterwards: “I didn’t really get most of it.”

Until August 10
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