Raw, honest and intelligent: Leamington's Loft theatre begins 2019 in fine style with Skylight

Mark Crossley and Julie-Anne Randell in Skylight
Mark Crossley and Julie-Anne Randell in Skylight

Nick Le Mesurier reviews Skylight at the Loft Theatre, Leamington

If the Loft Theatre Company are to improve on their start to 2019 they’ll have to work very hard indeed. Because their new production of Skylight, David Hare’s three-hander about the fall-out from a love affair, is simply riveting.

The play, directed by Sue Moore, is set at the end of the Thatcher era, but it could easily be now. Kyra Hollis (Julie-Anne Randell) is a teacher in a rough East End school living in a grotty ice-cold flat. Tom Sergeant (Mark Crossley) is a wealthy businessman with a string of restaurants world-wide. Once, Kyra lived with him and his wife Alice, now dead, and their son Ed (Ed Statham), and conducted a six-year long affair under their noses. For a while it had all seemed perfect, but then Tom let slip (deliberately?) a clue, and the whole thing fell apart. Since then Kyra has built a new life for herself, one radically different in every way from the luxury life she had once led. But it’s hers. Tom, meanwhile has had to cope with the drawn-out death of his wife and his guilt. He comes looking for restoration but not resolution. Unbeknownst to him, the stage has already been set by Ed, who appeals to Kyra to help him cope with his difficult dad.

The power of the play comes from its intimacy. The characters each deliver some of the finest monologues on the modern stage. But it’s not a series of diatribes (though because its David Hare politics are never too far away). This is emotion shorn of its pretences, complex, raw, honest, and here explored with such intelligence and such perfectly nuanced delivery one hangs on every glistening word.

* Skylight runs until February 2. Visit www.lofttheatrecompany.com or call 01926 830680 to book.