Magazine article The Spectator

Broken Hearts

Magazine article The Spectator

Broken Hearts

Article excerpt

In a bleak St Louis tenement, the Wingfields are buckling beneath the Depression and their mother's old-fashioned aspirations. A framework of fire escapes and raised walkways provides convenient perches from which Tom (Leo Bill) can narrate and look on with foreboding as his lame sister is dressed and groomed for the long awaited 'gentleman caller'.

Centre-stage in the Young Vic's production of The Glass Menagerie (until 15 January), a raised dining table dominates. Laid with a white cloth and warped candelabra, altarlike, it comes into its own when Laura - the sacrificial lamb - limps trembling towards it, but otherwise it marginalises the actors, who tend to get lost amid a cluttered set.

Though Deborah Findlay delivers Amanda's nostalgic reminiscences in a perfect Dixie drawl - each peal of laughter graced with a cute squeal on the inhale - she lapses too often into glum immobility for her children's downtrodden attitude to ring true. …

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