Drayton Arms Theatre, London
Guest reviewer: Kudzanayi Chiwawa
Director Marianne Badrichani brings us this adaptation inspired by Sacha Guitry, a 20th century playwright, actor and director. It includes short plays and extracts of his works, performed by an ensemble of three – Edith Vernes, Sean Rees and Anais Bachet.
First thing to note is that it is performed in French with English subtitles, but even if French is not your first language, it’s certainly easy enough to follow along.
The pretext of the show is that it is an exploration of the relationships between Edith, and the three loves of her life – the stage, her daughter, and Sacha. The bond between Edith and the stage is quite clear, but the story seems to predominantly focus on the relationship between Edith and Sacha, leaving us to guess at the underlying dynamics between mother and daughter.
In its examination of Sacha and Edith, you mainly understand the explosive nature of their twosome, but not quite much else. This issue seems to come from the text rather than the performers themselves. Vernes, Rees and Bachet are a wonderful ensemble; donning their many characters with delightful energy, they have the audience charmed.
The story takes shape as many plays within a play, and the sharpest scene is perhaps the penultimate one – a farcical romp, ‘LE KWTZ’, a real insight into Guitry’s wit and love of games.
The show runs at one hour and 20 minutes, but you certainly don’t feel it as overall it’s a very enjoyable show.