Review of Star Quality

PUBLISHED: 17:32 29 November 2011

Amanda Donohoe

Amanda Donohoe

Image copyright Jonny Walton 2010

A lovely performance from the maid (Gay Soper) a character who appears in different guises throughout Coward's works - and the personal assistant (Anthony Houghton). And it would be amiss not to mention Lola the dog who made her stage debut in this play and was perfectly behaved and very cute.

Star Quality is at the Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, December 3.

Review by DEBBIE DAVIES

STAR Quality is adapted from a short story Noel Coward wrote in 1951 and his 1967 unproduced play of the same name.

Despite that fact that the play is not a totally satisfying theatrical experience it is enjoyable. I think the issue for me was that the characters seemed undeveloped. I was expecting a big commanding diva performance from Amanda Donohoe who plays the lead role of the aging actress, but to be honest it just needed a bit more ‘star quality’. A coating of flamboyance, some temper tantrums and a sprinkling of unreasonable behaviour would have added some depth to the character. The play did reinforce my knowledge of coward’s work and I believe the lead role of an actress (Amanda Donohoe) the director (Daniel Casey) and the author (Bob Saul) were different aspects of coward’s character and the play itself was a chance for him to get his feelings off his chest about these particular roles. The play is not as good as his previous works, nowhere near as funny, but I think director Joe Harmston did his best to introduce some drama with clever scene changes, added to by the expressive nature of the sound effect in the background - loud typewriter and the clonk of the lights being switched off at the end giving a sense of finality - to make the whole piece more interesting. A lovely performance from the maid (Gay Soper) a character who appears in different guises throughout Coward’s works - and the personal assistant (Anthony Houghton). And it would be amiss not to mention Lola the dog who made her stage debut in this play and was perfectly behaved and very cute.

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