Marguerite Duras’ 1968 play Lovers of Viorne was based on a notorious real-life murder, aiming to explore what makes someone commit this weighty crime. Why did Claire, a quiet middle-aged woman, kill her cousin and transport the body parts around the country? This production by Frontier Theatre is performed in the Theatre Room and directed by James Roose-Evans.
The play, which runs for around an hour and a half without an interval, is unfortunately rather static, with the actors spending most of their time seated at tables. The play consists of two acts, during which an Interrogator (Kevin Trainor) interviews Claire’s husband Pierre (Martin Turner) and then Claire herself, so there isn’t much scope for dynamism or movement.
That said, performances are strong all round, particularly from Charlotte Cornwell as Claire who can switch from perfectly reasonable to angry and rather unhinged in the blink of an eye. The text, too, is compelling, as the Interrogator’s questions probe ever deeper in an attempt to discover the truth.
An intriguing and thoughtful play, this is worth catching.