After Dibley, here’s something a bit darker from Hitchin’s Bancroft Players

Keith Swainston and Gemma Van Praagh in Skylight.. Picture by luciddreampictures.com

Keith Swainston and Gemma Van Praagh in Skylight.. Picture by luciddreampictures.com - Credit: Archant

After a frothy feast of fun in the shape of The Vicar Of Dibley, which has just finished a successful run at Hitchin’s Queen Mother Theatre, there’s something much darker around the corner at the Walsworth Road venue.

The Bancroft Players show the breadth of their ambition by switching easily from the TV spin-off ecclessiastical comedy to a disturbing drama from David Hare, who isn’t exactly known for providing belly-laughs galore.

The play in question is Skylight, which will be directed by Tracy Hunt in the theatre’s Richard Whitmore Studio for a short run from next Wednesday night.

This intense three-hander scooped honours galore when it was first staged in 1995 and has been successfully revived on a regular basis since, most recently with Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan in the leading roles.

The play opens three years after Kyra has walked out on a married restaurateur and wealthy businessman Tom.

Now she’s making a living teaching in a tough school in a deprived part of East London, and living a long way across town in a grotty borrowed flat – it’s a far cry from the glamourous life she had before her affair was discovered by Tom’s wife.

An exhausted evening marking books is disrupted by the unannounced appearance of Tom’s 18-year-old son Edward – he wants to know why she left so suddenly, and whether she might return to their lives because his dad is floundering a year after the death of his wife.

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Then Tom himself turns up, an emotional mess whose default setting is sneering disdain.

The two of them proceed to rake over their past relationship with exchanges marked by often bitter humour.

Gemma Van Praagh, Keith Swainston and Edward Sergeant make up the cast.

Skylight runs for four nights, with the curtain up at 7.45pm each evening.

Tickets are £8 each and you can reserve yours by calling 01462 455166 or visiting www.qmt.org.uk.

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