Review: The Creditors, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick


If you really need to know more, This is theatre at its best.

It was written in the late 1800s, but the themes of doubt, betrayal and revenge are timeless and this world premiere of a new version of Strindberg’s classic by Howard Brenton flows seamlessly.

It starts as a slight comedy of manners and the eternal misunderstanding between man and woman, wife and husband.

But the conversation and tone shift, emotions ice over with distrust and disdain as a marriage is dissected and destroyed.

The tense atmosphere is heightened by the intimate surroundings of the studio theatre where the actors are practically nose to nose with the audience, so every tick, grimace and twitch is noted and there is nowhere to hide the slightest fault.

But each performance is faultless. David Sturzaker’s Gustav is glassy and classy James Sheldon totally believable as the fragile, porcelain-like artist Adolf, while Dorothea Myer-Bennett as his wife Tekla, is truly spellbinding.

Director Tom Littler deserves huge praise as well as Max Pappenheim for his insidious, menacing sound design.

Even if you do guess the direction of travel in the story, you’re still strapped to emotions of the characters and glued to the road they are speeding along to a shuddering finale.

Creditors runs until April 20. Some tickets are still available.

Call 017687 74411or go to