It is fair to say that tonight is something of an experiment. For some years the summer has been a rather unproductive period for Castaway. So, why not dabble with a play that I have had a long and loving relationship with since college, and try it out for a couple of nights in August? This was to be a labour of love so it just had to be Cloud Nine
. Castaway first produced this play in February 1993 and took it on a successful tour in the summer of that year. It is fitting, therefore, that ten years on we should revive it with a "no frills" chamber style production amidst the intimacy of the studio.
On returning to this old friend Act One was as fresh, funny and poignant as ever. It is a blindingly brilliant exploration of the links between Victorian values and sexual oppression. It is also most more than that. Some may disagree, but for me it remains her finest hour. However, Act Two was more problematic. As a piece of drama of its time (1979) it is perfectly formed, but how did it stand up in 2003? If I can use that ubiquitous term, is it not a little dated? After much discussion with the company we concluded that the second half still has a lot to say and that the issues Churchill tackles are still relevant.
Cast and Company