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Centre stage for Priestley gem
JB PRIESTLEY’S tale of upper class intrigue, Dangerous Corner, is opening at Salisbury Playhouse next Thursday.
Starring Edmund Kingsley (son of Oscar-winning actor Ben Kingsley) the play centres on a group of publishing executives whose glamorous facade covers a web of secrets and lies.
Part-thriller, part drama, Dangerous Corner was Priestley’s first play but soon became overshadowed by the better known An Inspector Calls and Time and the Conways.
These days it is rarely performed, but has been revived by the Playhouse’s artistic director Gareth Machin.
“It’s actually a very clever play, that’s almost played out in real time and is very fast moving,” said Kingsley.
“There are all sorts of twists and turns – the revelations come throughout, which makes it move very quickly. It packs a lot in.”
Kingsley, who comes to Salisbury following a successful run with the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford as well as television roles, plays Robert Caplan who hosts a dinner party with his wife Freda, played by Kirsty Besterman, appearing at the Playhouse for the first time.
“It’s wonderful to be at a producing theatre where everything is made specifically for this production,”
she said. “It’s unusual these days but very special. The attention to detail is incredible.”
The play is set in 1932, presenting a challenge for designer Dawn Allsop.
“I did a lot of research into the period and also the Art Deco era, as these are fashionable young people,” Allsop said.
“Sometimes I’ll visit homes from the period to get ideas.
“It’s always nice to design historical plays and the challenge is to make sure everything is in keeping.”
That research includes finding the correct cocktails for the Caplan’s party, getting the cigarettes just right and finding props and furniture of the era.
“It’s great to be at the Playhouse again,” said Kingsley, who last took to the stage in Salisbury in the 2009 production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
“Everything is done so well and I’m sure it will be a great show.”
* Dangerous Corner, Salisbury Playhouse, Thursday, January 31 to Saturday, February 23.
Tickets: 01722 320333 or salisburyplayhouse.com.