February 10, 2020




at Chiswick Playhouse, London


‘dark and suspenseful, but, sadly, a little too on the safe side’





This play is based on a true story about the serial fraudster George Love, who, at the start of the 20th Century, took pride in tricking young women to marry him, then after the wedding nuptials he would take their money and disappear into the night. So far, so good…. or not, depending on where your sympathies lie.


 [Fred Perry as George]


Fred Perry plays George - with that enormous task of making a rogue both likeable and believable. He has to win us over quicker than his victim, otherwise the whole exercise will be in vain. In that task, Perry succeeds. He is immensely watchable - as is Scarlett Brookes, all innocence and shocking vulnerability as Adelaide. 


 [Scarlett Brookes as Adelaide]


However, were it not for these two strong performances, the weaknesses in the play would be even more apparent. There is a confusion of styles: reportage and straight play - fourth wall and no fourth wall, as it were. Also the design is messy rather than stylish, at times I found my eyes just as confused as my ears. Karoline Leach’s script has a few monumental jumps in logic as the characters have their psychological battles. Who is in charge here? Is it George? Adelaide? The script? Hard to tell.


 [Fred Perry and Scarlett Brookes]


Director Phoebe Barran has tried to make a serious thriller out of something not quite as clever as it thinks it is. Overall, there are many worse ways of spending an evening in the theatre - Tryst is dark and suspenseful, but, sadly, a little too on the safe side. 




Photography     ℅ Savannah Photographic

Producer            Chiswick Playhouse Productions

Writer                 Karoline Leach

Director              Phoebe Barran

Cast                     Fred Perry and Scarlett Brookes

Designer             Jessica Statton

Running Time   85 mins (no interval)

Ages                    11+

Performances   until Saturday 29th February 2020 -

                             Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm

Venue                  Chiswick Playhouse, 2 Bath Road, London W4 1LW

Tube                    Turnham Green (District Line and, occasionally, the

                             Piccadilly Line)

Tickets                Box Office and

Twitter               @ChiswickPlay, #TrystChiswick


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© 2020 Paul Vates

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