The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore ★★★ Charing Cross Theatre | Sep 26 - Oct 22, 2022

The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore is one of Tennessee Williams' seldom produced later plays. It is a rather heavy-handed parable about death and what is important in life. Flora Goforth is a vain, spoilt, elderly woman living on the Amalfi Coast. As she faces her demise, she obsesses about her looks and her wealth, and she engages in some amusing banter with her counterpart, the Witch of Capri, who is another rich widow living out her declining years in Italy. Linda Marlowe as Goforth valiantly struggles to bring some dimensionality to her role, but it is an uphill battle. Flora Goforth is no Blanche DuBois! Sara Kestelman as Goforth's bitchy rival, the Witch of Capri, gets the tone of her character just right as she provides a comic foil for her dying companion. Indeed, the high point of the evening is the caustic interchanges between the two women. In the final analysis, the problem is that none of these characters really engage the audience, and William's narrative is thin and obvious. This is a play that has all the hallmarks of the playwright's best work, but it lacks the heart and poignancy of those masterpieces. That said, this is a laudable production that strives to realise the potential of William's dark meditation on mortality.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Nick Haeffner.

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