REVIEW: Amy's View, Chesil Theatre, Winchester

David Hare's witty, stimulating 1997 play covers roughly fourteen years (from 1979) in the life of Esme (Heather Bryant), leading stage actress, whose career concerns are exacerbated by her daughter Amy's boyfriend Dominic (Andrew Jenks), an ambitious journalist who embraces the vulgar energy of the 'new culture' looming and rejects the pretensions of theatre (just one reason why she regards him with open hostility) and the flattering attentions of her neighbour Frank (Richard Martin), who persuades her to join the list of Lloyds 'Names' who ended up facing financial ruin.

Bryant seizes her opportunity and gives us the many sides of Esme's character - proud, rather arrogant but dedicated actress, maddening yet protective mother, widowed single woman. She's well matched by Nicky Mallerou as Amy, warm and perhaps too caring, and the rest of Caroline Helcke's cast (including David Parker on debut) do not let them down.

Ham Quentin