Eastern Angles are on the road again with their brilliantly poignant production – Guest House.
Set in Clacton, Guest House focuses on the lives of Val, Lisa and Chloe – three generations of women; a grandma, a mother and a daughter and the relationship they have with each other and how they face the changing times of a seaside town that is past it’s heyday.
Val runs the Golden Sands Guest House, she has lived in the property since she married the owners’ son, she has brought up her own family there and it’s a place that she loves. However, times have changed, life is harder now and the seaside town is not as popular with holidaymakers as it once was, plus, her beloved guesthouse could do with a little TLC.
Val is not in the best of health, and when she has a fall and is taken to hospital, her estranged daughter, Lisa, is called – being next of kin. This does not go down well with Chloe, her granddaughter, who spent much of her childhood being raised by her grandmother, with little contact from her mother.
Tensions run high, but can the women pull together and save the aging guesthouse?
Guest House is beautifully written with a real sense of what can happen when a family falls apart. There are some lovely sections where the characters look back on their pasts that work well within the context of the story being told.
Amanda Bellamy plays Val wonderfully; her portrayal of the matriarch of the family is spot on. Clare Humphrey fully immerses herself as Lisa and is most believable, so much so there were moments in the second half of the piece where Lisa is trying to reconnect with her daughter, that as an audience member, I just wanted to leap out of my seat, give her a hug and tell her everything will be ok.
Eleanor Jackson, plays ambitious Chloe well, the character is that of a girl that has been spoilt by her grandmother and is not used to people telling her “no” – Jackson caught this well.
Overall Guest House is a great production, one that captures the mood and moments perfectly and shows how a small white lie to protect somebody’s feelings that happened in the past can change how somebody acts and feels in the future.
Guesthouse is currently on tour throughout Suffolk until 26th May. For more information about venues and to book tickets visit www.easternangles.co.uk
Review: Wendy Cook, Ipswich24