Help save the Southwark Playhouse
July's theatre round up

The play that made me leave at the interval

LADY OF PLEASURE thumb 2 It's the second time I've ducked out of a performance at the interval. The first was nothing to do with the play but more the environment - me and outdoor theatre just don't mix.

This time it was sadly the play or rather the performances, with a heavy dose of fatigue. And which play was it I hear you ask? The Lady of Pleasure by James Shirley at the White Bear Theatre in Kennington. It's a comedy written in the early 17th Century.

Now I do feel slightly mean because this isn't the worst thing I've seen. The extreme cheapness of the ticket aided my decision. I also feel mean because everyone was trying so hard and I'm loathed to rubbish their work when they are probably doing it for little or no money but there in lies the problem. They were trying too hard.

I've said it before about other pub theatre performances, the acting was too big for such a small space. If you are going to perform big then it's got to be funny (this is a comedy after all). It also felt very self-conscious and a little bit stiff. And some of the actors need to pay attention to the clarity of delivery.

The play itself was potentially quite interesting, with three interwoven plots and I like the way the production was given a contemporary make-over and set in the 1960's but I couldn't engage with it and quickly lost interest. I wasn't the only one. There was a lady sat on the opposite side of the stage who was nodding off.

A very good production can grab me even when I'm very tired but this rarely came close.

Perhaps it will improve with time - this was the second performance. Still it feels a real shame and I genuinely don't like rubbishing small, shoestring budget productions but you can't win them all. I'm not going to rate it as I didn't see the whole thing and there aren't any other reviews that I can see just yet.