Reviewed by Sophie Ross
18th October 2017
Reviewer Rating: ★★★★
Since recently re-opening, the Tabard Theatre welcomes Tryst as it’s first in house production. Set in 1910 and based on a true story, the play written by Karoline leach, tells the tale of serial fraudster, George Love (played by Fred Perry) who encounters a naive and vulnerable shop-girl, Adelaide Pinchin (played by Natasha Barnes). This physiological thriller, runs for 90 minutes without the use of an interval and is carried as a two hander. The show first came to the West End 1997 opened on Broadway in 2006 and now is revived in London for the first time in twenty years. Set in a small and very intimate space, this dark and twisty tale will leave you on the edge of your seat.
After recently finishing as Fanny Brice both in the West End and on tour, Natasha Barnes steps into a role that is completely different from what you’ve seen her in before. Adelaide, a young milliner ultimately wants to better her life. She strives to be richer and to be loved by someone who wants to be with her for who she is. She meets George Love who she falls head over heals in love for. He knows what to say to her and how to make her feel wanted and special. As the play develops, you see the dark side in him and although mostly blind to his betrayal, Adelaide soon seems to release he isn’t who he initially said he was. Her character goes on a journey through both happiness and pain and that is as much of the story we can go into without giving away too much. The play ends with a shocking climax and having known nothing about it before attending, we weren’t expecting the outcome.
Although the storyline a little slow paced and at times felt like we weren’t going to get into the nitty gritty plot, Natasha and Fred work wonderfully together and play off what the other is giving.
Natasha gives a full 360 performance of showing the light and shade within what can only be described as an acting masterclass. Her vulnerability and ability to change the emotion she gives through her character is quite sublime. She’s a absolute powerhouse actor and her performance alone makes the play worth seeing.
Fred plays the part with ease, gaining much reaction from the audience. He plays the “villain” well and although his character is full of shade and dishonesty, at various points, you do feel a little sorry for is backstory. The pair work well as a duo and manage to keep the audience in the palm of their hands throughout.
It’s a tense show and works well in the set up that it’s in. The set is simple but effective and with the cast moving various pieces around for set changes, it’s done with such ease that you hardly notice it. The costumes (Megan Rarity) fit within the era and the lighting changes with the mood. As you leave the theatre, you are welcomed by facts displayed on the wall regarding to the real life events. Its a play that will leave you wanting to find out more and is worth a watch if you fancy something different.
Tryst is booking until November 5th.