The Wokingham Paper

REVIEW: Smooth waters for this sublime Rough Crossing

New artwork
Rough Crossing

Tom Stoppard’s Rough Crossing

Until Saturday, February 9

Theatre Royal Windsor

01753 853888


Rough Crossing

Windsor’s Theatre Royal casts the audience out into the mid-Atlantic with their production of Rough Crossing by Tom Stoppard.

The elegant set shows a portion of a very solid ocean going, luxury liner, one cabin poised gracefully above the other. It drew immediate applause from the audience – and served the different scenes well.

The cast do their part to take us to sea, lurching and sliding with the waves to good effect.

The word play, puns and absurdities are kept bowling across the stage. The 1984 play has a simple plot and relies on tight and timely interaction between the characters.

The party of drama students, born long after 1984, seated in front of me, enjoyed the comedy of the interchange as the cast, portraying playwrights and actors, feverishly try to rehearse a show on a transatlantic ship.

Recent Celebrity MasterChef winner John Partridge as playwright Turai and Charlie Stemp playing cabin steward Dvornichek impress with their first encounter which is full of misunderstandings and red herrings.

They keep Stoppard’s long-running joke about the failure to deliver a glass of cognac sustained throughout the performance. Charlie Stemp gives us Dvornichek’s cheerful blunders and brilliance with a great sense of fun.

Matthew Cottle playing Gal is a good contrast to his fellow playwright Turai. Issy Van Randwyck and Simon Dutton are polished as the actors who have to tackle the terrible show within the play.

Rob Ostlere has the audience’s sympathy as his fortunes as Adam ebb and flow with the waves.

The director is Rachel Kavanaugh and the set and costume design are by Colin Richmond.

The play, set in the 1930s, is at Windsor until Saturday, February 9.

Sue Corcoran

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