27 Wagons Full of Cotton by Tennessee Williams

201627WAGON_AME

THEATRE

Greenside@ Infirmary Street.(Venue 236)

August  5th to 27th (not 14.21)

16.10

****

We are in 1930’s Mississippi, and a remote rural couple have listened to FDR’s speech, including about being good neighbours. There is more than a little irony there. Depression has made things economically desperate, and Jake (Codge Crawford) has left his wife alone at the same time as a fire starts nearby. He roughly bullies her into saying he was around all evening. Flora (Helen Fox) becomes the victim both of her husband and of Silva (Stephen Carruthers), the man with 27 wagons full of cotton.

This is a devastating portrait of what can happen in terms of sexist abuse where there are no restraining forces, but Flora is not without a voice, and what seeds has she sown?

The acting of all three characters is exemplary here, and the audience is gripped as well as horrified. You may need a strong drink after this one, but it is a theatrical experience very well worth having.

Tony Challis