Mrs Dalloway @ Arcola Theatre*

Rating: ⭐⭐
Tickets and more information:
Production Photos by: Ollie Grove
Booking until: 20th October 2018

Based on the novel by Virginia Woolf, a new stage adaptation of the classic story Mrs Dalloway has arrived at the Arcola Theatre. The story takes place in 1920s London as the title character Clarissa Dalloway prepares to throw a fancy party for her upper class friends. In the short 100 minute run time, the play drags on failing to find a main purpose for the play.

Clare Perkins (Clarissa) (2) (c) Ollie Grove

First of all, I must say the 5 piece ensemble are great to watch and they do save this production. As well as juggling multiple characters (and quick changes!), all five actors are so in tune with each other that the rhythmic and poetic text is easy on the ear. It’s just a shame that it takes ages to get up and running. The play starts with 4 of the 5 actors arguing about where Clarissa would stand as she prepares for her party. Which is original as this parallels the actors preparing to do the play. But they never come back to it, so what is the overall point?

Clare Lawrence Moody (Sally) and Clare Perkins (Clarissa) (c) Ollie Grove

The lighting design by Joe Price is atmospheric and attempts to transport the small space of the Arcola studio 2 to various locations the scenes take place in. But as there’s not much of a set, it doesn’t always work so well.

Emma D'arcy (Rezia), Clare Lawrence Moody (Sally) and Clare Perkins (Clarissa) (c) Ollie Grove

To be frank, it’s just quite a boring play. The sub plot with a war veteran being failed by the upper classes for his mental health, creates an interesting parallel but ultimately doesn’t drive the story along and feels like the plot was added to fill the time. It’s an interesting attempt with a wonderful cast, but ultimately I found the play to be boring and dragged out.

Until next time,



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