In memory of that great American playwright Pentameters Theatre are proud to present Tennessee Williams rarely performed Interior: Panic and Portrait Of A Madonna.

Interior: Panic provides a fascinating glimpse into Williams’ method of working. It is very rare to find a complete one-act play relating to a major work, especially one as important as A Streetcar Named Desire.

In Interior: Panic, Blanche Shannon is no one else but Blanche DuBois. The situation is familiar; the cramped quarters in New Orleans, with her sister and her husband, and Blanche’s desperation and need for rescue by her own ‘gentleman caller’ are all there. The full force of Stanley Kowalski is barely suggested in Jack Kiefaber. Williams’ portrays Blanche as being increasingly detached from reality by hearing disembodied voices and becoming more and more paranoid. However, Interior: Panic offers an ending, drastically different from Streetcar.

In Portrait Of A Madonna, the central character, Miss Lucretia Collins is a sexually frustrated, neurotic, middle-aged spinster. Lucretia is living in a small dingy apartment and every night, she believes that Richard (the man she once loved) breaks into her room to ‘indulge his senses’. Miss Collins has called down to the manager to report that she has an intruder. The porter and the elevator boy come up to ‘investigate’. The elevator boy, a cocky young guy who thinks Miss Collins is a creature of fun and the porter, an infinitely compassionate man, who sees the deep pain behind Miss Collins’ fantasy. Lucretia’s struggle with sanity achieves a pathos almost equal to the final scene in Streetcar.

 

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