SUSU Theatre Group’s ‘A Street Car Named Desire’ review @ The Annex, Southampton


SUSU Theatre Group delivers a brilliant rendition of 'A Streetcar Named Desire,' showcasing powerful performances and meticulous details.

  • 10

The A-level English literature classic you know and love has truly been done justice by SUSU Theatre Group. In A Streetcar Named Desire, we meet Blanche (Olivia Grindon), the hoity-toity sister-in-law who descends on her sister, Stella (Emily Norman), and Stella’s husband Stanley (Fletcher Stafford) in a flurry of deep South ideals and propriety. Faced with the realities of Stella’s small New Orleans apartment and Stanley’s big personality, Blanche’s fragile world might crumble.

Olivia Grindon’s gut-wrenching performance as Blanche is both a beautiful flash of nostalgia for those familiar with the play and a faithful introduction to Tennessee Williams’ classic; Fletcher Stafford’s Stanley is every bit the ‘asshole’ the programme proclaims him to be, a presence that utterly claims the stage as the play nears its infamous climax. These two scene-stealing actors perfectly captured the battle for prominence between Blanche and Stanley. One of the only complaints I could make is that I wanted more! Grindon had the chops to do Blanche full justice, and the few segments that were evidently (quite sensibly) cut for timing reasons would have been the blue candles on the cake.

What struck me most about this performance was the attention to detail: the smell of smoke, the washing lines overhead, the reds associated with Blanche, Stella’s growing bump, the harshening and dimming of the light at the perfect moments, in accordance with the play text and beyond (Matt Kohler and his team worked magic in some scenes). Grindon and Stafford had the tiniest physical quirks of their characters down to a fine art. This was a production intimate with its source material in matter and spirit alike.

Another stand-out performance was Nathaniel O’Shea as Steve— playing a much smaller role than when I last saw him in Dracula, O’Shea still manages to shine with his comic delivery. Megan Jones’ brief appearance as the nurse had all the clinical austerity that makes her minor role so imposing. Kat Fevyer’s costuming of all roles was attentive throughout.

Overall, this was a brilliant production. From reading the sleek and cheeky programme as Katy Halliwell’s Eunice ominously occupied the stage as the show began to gripping my partner’s hand when this intense and wonderful performance grappled with its darkest subject matter, I was gripped by the atmosphere. Every speech Olivia Grindon delivered as Blanche was enough to touch the soul.

You can keep up with the SUSU Theatre Group’s here, with their upcoming production ‘Romeo and Juliet’ running from 21st-23rd March.


About Author

Leave A Reply