For Services Rendered, Jermyn Street Theatre - ★★★★ - Until October 5, 2019


With echoes of Chekhov's Three Sisters, Somerset Maugham's meditation on the world that emerged after World War I can seem somewhat dated and rather classist. Three sisters trapped in genteel poverty and "buried" in the country. They must deal with boredom, the lack of marital prospects and their sense of a dead-end existence. The responses are to succumb to materialism in the case of Lois Ardsley, to neurosis and fantasy in the case of Eva Ardsley and to stolidly endure an unsuitable marriage in Ethel Ardsley's case. Military survivors of the conflict are presented as equally damaged: overwhelmed by the world of business like Collie Stratton or given to bitterness and cynicism like blinded son Sydney Ardsley. And the older generation? Their response to the new reality is summed up by the Ardsley parents: the gentility of the mother who declares "I am pre-war" and simply accepts the new order and the father, Leonard, who mindlessly declares nothing has really changed and it will all be fine. Each of the actors in this large cast do an admirable job but for us the stand out was Diane Fletcher's wistful and beautifully understated performance as the matriarch Charlotte Ardsley. Viss Elliott Safavi also did a fine turn as Gwen Cedar developing a character which could have easily been completely one-dimensional. This production is well directed by Tom Littler; it is well worth seeing. And come to think of it, our present day political situation seems to inspire reactions not so different from those the Ardleys and their fellows have to their broken world. Perhaps, this play is not so dated as it might seem at first glance. 

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

Want to save on tickets? See our Tips page.

WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until October 5, 2019
Mon - Sat: 7:30 pm, Tue & Sat: 3:30 pm
Jermyn Street Theatre

Most Popular

Wonderville ★★★★ Palace Theatre | Jul 16 - Aug 30, 2021

The Game of Love and Chance ★★★★ Arcola Theatre | Jul 14 - Aug 7, 2021

My Night with Reg ★★★★★ The Turbine Theatre | Jul 21 - Aug 21, 2021

Tommy on Top ★★★★★ Above The Stag Theatre | Jul 28 - Aug 29, 2021

Hotel Paradiso ★★★ Underbelly Festival | Jul 17 - Aug 5, 2021

Love's Labour's Lost ★★★★ Open Bar Theatre | Jul 12 - Aug 18, 2021

Hairspray ★★★★ London Coliseum | Until September 29, 2021

Sophie Taeuber-Arp ★★★★★ Tate Modern | Jul 15 - Oct 17, 2021

Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope ★★★★ Seabright Productions (online) | Jul 22 - Aug 1, 2021

Bellotto: The Königstein Views Reunited ★★★ The National Gallery | Jul 22 - Oct 31, 2021 - FREE

The City Life Magazine | Reviews & Ratings