‘Streetcar’s blazon commentary aimed right at the viewer, is more than just a ‘visual feast’. Tennessee Williams’s classic is ruefully updated in this Shane Bosher directed show, pimped out with MacBook’s, Calvin Klein’s and other modern-day accoutrements more akin to the “gruelling contemporary landscape that is Trump’s America”.
Actress Mia Blake (No.2, The Tattooist) heads the who’s-who of Kiwi talent, including TV actors Morgana O’Reilly, Fasitua Amosa and Nicole Whippy. Blake plays a staunch but troubled Blanche DuBois, in town to visit her little sister Stella (Morgana O’Reilly), after they have lost the family home due to squander, her ostentatious attire and posh air, a meagre reflection of her fragile self.
It’s not an easy watch or an easy show to pull off. Three hours is quite a while to entertain the masses, but its a rewarding sit. Set in New Orleans in the ‘stinking’ heat of summer, so you can expect lots of Southern-Kiwi accents filling the stage, also the detail to actors sweating is a nice touch.
At the time of its release in the late Forties it caused quite a stir, with its explicit themes and ‘flesh showing’, as for myself a ‘Streetcar’ virgin, one I was glad to watch unfold before me. The sparse set, frenetic lighting and ambient sound effects only heightening the experience.
Ryan O’Kane is fabulous as Stanley, he takes the emotion and regurgitates it with an unpredictable anger. Mark Ruka as poker buddy Mitch is great to watch while Morgana O’Reilly plays the younger DuBois to a tee, her interaction with Blake at times stubborn & flirtatious.
Mia Blake is sturdy as Blanche, her penchant to remember lines is remarkable, her accent passable as she is tasked the remarkable job of staying central to the story line and holding down the show. Niggling American accents and questionable blue plastic chairs aside, Streetcar maintains its composure to finish strong to the end – which as a punter, you can’t be unhappy about.
A Streetcar Named Desire is on until September 16th at The Q Theatre
Please note: Contains scenes that depict sexual and domestic violence