Review: The Public Eye/The Private Ear, Lantern Theatre

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The Dilys Guite Players present an evening of two one act Peter Schaffer plays. ‘The Public Eye’ dissects a middle-aged accountants marriage to a much younger woman who he believes is having an affair. The script is wonderfully witty and at just 70 minutes doesn’t overstay its welcome. Siophan Foster as the young wife is the stand out actor in this as she puts in a relaxed and believable performance.

‘The Private Ear’ is the real star of this theatrical duo, however, as both the play itself and the performances are far superior and go to create a very welcome second half of the evening. A simple tale that sees Bob invite a girl over for dinner, but asking a friend of his to help out proves not to be the best of ideas.

Joe Lister-Streep and Owen Jones portraying opposite ends of the male spectrum, one cocky and gregarious, the other introverted and deep both give fantastic performances. You could feel the audience relax in their presence as they both inhabited their roles with enormous surety. The comedy here is more subtle but no less funny for that.

Indeed the play itself has far more of a heart and much more to say. Ruth Carline as Doreen, Bob’s object of affection also displays a sure touch as an actress, never more so than in the finale, a wordless exchange with Madame Butterfly playing in the background. An evening to savour that highlights the author’s brilliance.