Leicester Square is even busier than usual. Every night Wyndham’s Theatre is full. For just eleven weeks David Hare’s play Skylight is being staged, showcasing the talents of Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan and giving us the rare chance to see them acting in the flesh.
The stark realist play premiered in 1995 at the National Theatre before moving to Wyndham’s for a short run starring Stella Gonet and Bill Nighy. This time round the piece is directed by Stephen Daldry; Bill Nighy is back but plays against fresh faced filmstar Carey Mulligan and Matthew Beard. This revival is beautifully acted and staged, and despite moving over just twelve hours the content is utterly gripping, I felt completely engrossed and involved in the drama throughout.
We are transported to a chilly, cheap flat in Kensal Rise, where Kyra Hollis lives. Whilst making bolognaise on stage (the smell of sizzling onions rises to even the highest seats in theatre) she is separately visited by her ex-lover, Tom Sargeant and his son Edward. Kyra seems worn down by her emotionally exhausting lifestyle. She struggles with lingering feelings of love and anger towards Tom and his privileged and unaware lifestyle. Meanwhile he criticises her piety and the unnecessary hardships she inflicts on herself. We understand that Kyra ran away when things became difficult and he had to deal with his wife’s painful death alone. The conversation flits between distant happy memories together and full blown arguments about the equality in the world, heightened by their different situations. The set remains the same throughout which gives a constant backdrop to their ever-changing dramatic dialogue. All three actors present believable and nuanced characters, and work beautifully together onstage.
Skylight is a thought-provoking study on the human condition, the urges and angst we feel and the impact of important decisions. After all this it shows that whatever happens we must carry on with the regular routine of everyday life.
Continues until 23 August, more information here.