Don't Look Now - Beck Theatre, Hayes, January 15-17
'Don't look now' were the first words spoken in this play and unfortunately it proved to be very good advice for the audience.
This stage version of the Daphne Du Maurier story, made famous by the film with Julie Christie (mainly because of a sex scene which was thought to be the real thing) was, for me, a disappointment.
Nicola Bryant and Peter Amory did the best they could with the script but the over-dramatisation meant there was not enough light and shade in the acting and it was all too melodramatic for my taste.
I ceased to be shocked or intrigued by the plot and ultimately stopped caring about the characters who, while suffering from the death of a child, still managed to be one-dimensional.
The Italian setting was good, and the scene changes creative, but there were too many of them which was very distracting when tables, chairs and beds came and went with increasing regularity.
I'm afraid I didn't find the weird sisters, played by Shirley Anne Field and Claire Vousden, spooky at all and I'm still trying to work out why they were reciting the Italian verb 'to be' while the infamous sex scene was played out (albeit tastefully) in the room beneath their balcony.
Maybe that was just a failing in me and there was an artistic point that I missed.
And the music! They might have got away with playing the same refrain over and over, except that it sounded like it was being played through a tin can.
I wish I didn't have to be so negative about this production, particularly as I heartily applaud The Beck for bringing plays back to the Hayes theatre, but I found this production of Don't Look Now had very little to redeem it.