As narrator Tom (Williams’ alter ego) steps back into the past, his painfully shy, physically frail sister Laura emerges to join him and their misguided (though well-meaning) mother, to relive a time when all three sought escape from their individual unpalatable realities. For aspiring writer Tom, it’s the daily grind of working in a warehouse to support the family his father deserted long ago. For his mother, Amanda, thoughts of what might have been sustain her as she tries – too hard – to ensure her children do the best they can in the financially precarious 1930’s. And for Laura – too timid to face the outside world – it’s not fellow human beings but her precious collection of glass animals which (quite literally here) light up her life.  Until, that is, under pressure from Amanda, Tom brings a “gentleman caller” (Jim from work)  home for dinner.

credit: Johann Persson

American actress Cherry Jones makes a vivid impression as she dresses up in the Southern belle finery of her youth to entertain their guest, but it’s the extended, painfully tender scene between Kate O’Flynn’s self-consciously awkward Laura and Brian J Smith’s likeable Jim with his easy charm which really touches. For a magical moment, the little statuettes no longer matter and it’s the tantalising possibility of another future which, all too briefly, fleetingly illuminates her face.

Duke of York’s, St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4BG

Tube:- Charing Cross / Leicester

Until  29th April 2017

£ 15.00 – £59.95 + Premium Seats

theglassmenagerie.co.uk