Writer: Caroline af Petersens
Director: Nicola Rockhill
Reviewer: Sarah Nutland
The Public Reviews Rating:
The roaring 20′s are brought back to life in Spilt Milk’s new play Save Me at the Union Theatre. The play centres on the all-consuming, alcohol fuelled and destructive relationship between F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. She is struggling to get her own creative voice and personality, which has been swallowed in to that of her husband’s and his successful literary career.
The structure of the play works well; jumping around in time to provide momentum to the production. The idea of the piece is also strong as the The Great Gatsby author’s relationship with his wife is a fascinating, volatile and passionate one. There are some captivating moments as the Fitzgeralds struggle to live with, or without each other, and the audience learn of the injustice surrounding where Mr Fitzgerald gained some of his material and inspiration. An especially symbolic part of the play is when the couple appear in each other’s clothes, which forms an exceptionally representative image of the dynamics of their relationship.
Sherry Newton and Francis Moore as Zelda and F Scott are solid though, rather than inspiring , a reflection of Caroline af Petersens’ writing which fails to really engage the heart of this relationship and thus the audience’s attention. The play also suffers from being overlong, a matter not helped by director Nicola Rockhill’s incorporation of randomvideo add-ons.
The set is simple and costumes add to the feel of the 1920’s era to which we are transported. There are some interesting performances from the ensemble and some of the smaller characters really stood out, in particular the character of Duncan played by Edward Cartwright and Lois played by Charlotte Whitaker.