Welsh playwright and actor Emlyn Williams made no secret of his bisexuality
in two frank autobiographical volumes published in 1961 and 1973, but in his 1950 play Accolade the double-life of a Nobel prize-winning author of
scandalous novels, Will Trenting, involves an irresistible penchant not for
other men, but for drunken “dirty parties” in Rotherhithe.

It’s a predilection Rona, his wife of 16 years, knew about and accepted right from
the start of what has proved to be a loving and successful relationship.
But recognition comes at a price and the decision to accept a knighthood for
his literary achievements turns his secret indiscretions into a source of
interest – and not just to the media.

Blanche McIntyre’s excellent revival (the first since the original production in which Williams himself took the role of Trenting) boasts some first rate performances and an impressive set (designer James Cotterill’s book-lined Regent’s Park home where they have raised their bookish schoolboy son and where barmaid Phyllis and her wide boy husband Harold  look
decidedly out of place).

Aden Gillett’s Will and Saskia Wickham’s Rona reveal all the complex emotions of a devoted couple facing a problem brought out into the open – he only just coming to realise that there’s a cost to his self-indulgence, she almost too tolerant.

And anybody who’s picked up the Archers habit over here will be pleased to know that Graham Seed (who played the recently deceased Nigel for nearly three decades) is on fine form as wheedling, unsavoury Daker, intent on capitalising on Trenting’s weakness.


Finborough, Finborough Road, SW10  9ED.  
Tube: Earl’s Court
Until February 26
£15- £18


- Louise Kingsley