Dark secret unravels in brilliant fashion

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REVIEW: September Tide, Sudbury Dramatic Society, Quay Theatre, Sudbury.

Sudbury Dramatic Society has done a brilliant job with its latest production, an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s September Tide.

From the moment you step into the auditorium, you are transported to the Cornish coast by means of a sound-track of splashing waves and wheeling seagulls.

The brooding atmosphere is maintained as we are invited into the home of Stella Martyn (Heidi Bernhard-Bubb) as she awaits the return of her daughter Cherry (Jessica Millar) who is bringing her new husband home for the first time.

But when Evan Davies (Mark Littlewood) arrives, he falls head-over-heels in love with his new mother-in-law, and their dark secret starts to unravel as their passion threatens to tear the family apart.

This version of the play, revised by Mark Rayment, delves into the murky waters of male/female relationships and the shifting attitudes to sex, marriage and morals.

Stella, played perfectly by Heidi, asks at one point: “Are all modern marriages so lacking in romance?”

This theme is explored as we examine the marriage of Cherry and her wayward painter of a husband, a relationship so different from that expected and experienced by her mother, that the latter struggles to comprehend it.

The complex topics are lifted to the realms of entertainment by the able cast as the scenes are played out against the backdrop of a threatening storm and a high September tide, the storm outside reflecting the turbulent relationships inside the house.

Light relief is provided by housekeeper Mrs Tucket, a role relished by Belinda Hasler.

Jessica Millar deserves a special mention too for her feisty and ebullient portrayal of Cherry.