Theater Review: 'Skylight'

By: 
Ben Miles
Jessica Erin Martin (as Kyra) and Steve Marvel (as Tom) in David Hare’s “Skylight,” playing through May 19 at Chance Theater.

Love, lust, resentment and guilt are some of the emotional conundrums broached in David Hare’s drama, “Skylight,” which won the Olivier Award for Play of the Year in its premiere production at London’s National Theatre in 1995.

Now “Skylight” is being staged (through May 19) by Orange County’s praised theatre company – The Chance Theater. Directed with much motion by Oanh Nguyen – with superb stagecraft by Bruce Goodrich (scenic design); Adriana Lambarri (Costuming); Matt Schleicher (Lighting); Ryan Brodkin (Sound) – “Skylight” offers three characters, Kyra Hollis (Jessica Erin Martin’s portrayal grows as the plot develops), Tom Sergeant (Steve Marvel inhabiting a supercilious character who lacks subtlety in his pretentiousness), and Edward Sergeant (Sam Bullington is intense in a somewhat thankless turn as Tom’s 18-year-old son).

Tom, a wealthy restaurateur is recently widowed; Kyra, who’s now a school teacher was once nanny to the Sergeant family and extra-marital lover to Tom, is living in less than glamorous circumstances on London’s East Side; Edward initially visits Kyra’s apartment to confront her with what he views as her abandonment of him – after all, he loved her like a big sister.

Soon Tom arrives – via limousine – to perhaps rekindle the affection between Kyra and himself. But as the dialogue exchanged between the two demonstrates, whatever they may have had in common long ago has deteriorated since Tom’s economic status has risen and Kyra’s  devotion to those of a less privileged status in society has solidified. Clearly a philosophical schism has caused an irreparable divide of values between Kyra and Tom.

Who can we in the audience most empathize with? Maybe “Skylight” can be a measure of our own value system.

“Skylight” continues through May 19. For reservations, call (888) 455-4212. For online ticketing and further information visit www.chancetheater.com.

ben@beachcomber.news

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