David Hare's witty, stimulating 1997 play covers roughly fourteen years (from 1979) in the life of Esme (Heather Bryant), leading stage actress, whose career concerns are exacerbated by her daughter Amy's boyfriend Dominic (Andrew Jenks), an ambitious journalist who embraces the vulgar energy of the 'new culture' looming and rejects the pretensions oftheatre (just one reason why she regards him with open hostility) and the flattering attentions of her neighbour Frank (Richard Martin), who persuades her to join the list of Lloyds 'Names' who ended up facing financial ruin.
Bryant seizes her opportunity and gives us the many sides of Esme's character - proud, rather arrogant but dedicated actress, maddening yet protective mother, widowed single woman. She's well matched by Nicky Mallerou as Amy, warm and perhaps too caring, and the rest of Caroline Helcke's cast (including David Parker on debut) do not let them down.
This review appeared in the Daily Echo, 23 May 2016
Amy’s View, one of the recent plays of David Hare, gets the usual good production from the Chesil theatre this week.
Hare is a writer who excites strong emotions. He is obsessed with England and its values (or lack of them) and, it seemed to me anyway, that arguments about the relative importance of traditional theatre and the world of television and film, typifed by rows between Amy , her mother, the fading actress, Esme and her Amy’s boyfriend, Dominic, are difficult to get worried about.
The first act looked rather artificial. Everybody gets intense too quickly But the second, when Esme is hit by the collapse of Lloyd’s of London, in which Esme is a “Name”, shows us how devastating such a blow can me.
In spite of the first-act staginess, there is a great deal to enjoy, with very confident playing by Heather Bryant as Esme and Andrew Jenks as her daughter’s boy friend. Extremely watchable, too, is Richard Martin as Esme’s close friend, and Norma York as Evelyn. Her sudden descent from normal fusspot to a woman stricken by dementia, is brilliantly acted and directed. Heather Bryant and Nicky Malliarou as her daughter are also very convincing. And let’s not forget David Parker as Toby, a young actor on the way up, quite oblivious to the problems of the elderly.
The last scene, with the star actress appearing on a revolve, was a magnificent coup de theatre for the company
This review appeared in the Hampshire Chronicle, 24 May 2016