How far will a mother go to preserve her son’s reputation? That’s the question in “Suddenly Last Summer,” coming to The Footlight Players stage Jan. 20 to Feb. 5. This is considered one of Tennessee Williams’ most haunting pieces of writing.
Writer Praises ‘Suddenly Last Summer’
Entertainment writer Jeff Walker had this to say about Footlight’s latest production:
“Footlight Players kick off 2017 with a splendid portrayal of Tennessee Williams’ macabre masterpiece ‘Suddenly Last Summer’. While lesser known than some of Williams’ more established works ‘Summer’ is a haunting tale of a dysfunctional family trying to establish between fact and fiction a year after a mysterious death. A select few of Charleston’s finest actors assemble on stage to deliver what historians believe is an autobiographical look into Williams’ twisted life. Footlight in-house director Don Brandenburg has been itching to present this play to Charleston and he, along with the cast, do a marvelous job.”
Catharine Holly has witnessed the murder of her cousin Sebastian, which has sent her to a psychiatric hospital. When Sebastian’s mother, Mrs. Venable, invites a psychiatrist to question Catharine about her story, she paints a picture so graphic it’s almost unbelievable. In fact, Mrs. Venable would rather not believe Catherine’s story and prefers to keep her son’s secrets buried.
Don Brandenburg, artistic director for The Footlight Players and director of this production, said this play has been on his short list for quite some time. Last season, Footlight produced “A Streetcar Named Desire,” which was well received by audiences. It seemed right to offer another Tennessee Williams’ classic this season, he said.
A personal fan of Tennessee Williams’ work, Brandenburg said “Suddenly Last Summer” is exactly the sort of play he enjoys. “It is insightful, with issues of family, sexuality and social norms. The sensitive script is layered with deep conventional roots. It is nearly impossible to look away as you are drawn into a story that eventually develops into the predator becoming the prey; a story that will not easily be forgotten.”
Performances are 8 p.m. Jan. 20, Jan. 21, Jan. 27, Jan. 28, Feb. 2, Feb. 3, Feb. 4 with a matinee at 3 p.m. Jan. 22, Jan. 29 and Feb. 5. Tickets are $30 for adults, $27 for military/seniors and $20 for students. Order tickets online at footlightplayers.net or by calling the box office at 843-722-4487.
NOTE: This play is not suitable for children.