First premiering in 1963, Tennessee Williams’ The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore is currently enjoying a London revival, starring theatre giants Linda Marlowe as the dying Mrs Goforth and Sarah Kestleman (famous for playing Titania in Peter Brook’s seminal 1970 white-box Dream) as the eccentric Witch of Capri.

Kestleman is the stronger of the two, floating around the stage with a limp wrist, weighed down by her forever attached martini glass. She’s helped along by Rocco Vena’s inspired costume design, elevating her eccentricity with a crimson turban and palette of different oranges. She’s a deft hand with Williams’ verbose prose, and relishes the challenge more than wilts from it.

Lucie Shorthouse gives a note-perfect performance, offering up some of the funniest moments of the play in her taut replies and exasperated looks. It’s an understated performance, but one that still stands out from among the less-assured cast members.

Chevara’s production is one that meanders when it should grapple. The traverse staging hampers the action, as actors too often appear to be playing to the walls rather than the audience; something we desperately needed in a play that is known historically for losing its way with the punters.

Playing at the Charing Cross Theatre 26 September – 22 October 2022.

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