THEATRE / When We Are Married - West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Unmoved, it seems, in the 25 years J B Priestley's three West Riding couples have been wed, the earth literally gapes when the young chapel-organist reveals that their fractious marriages are void on a technicality. All Cleckleywyke reverberates to Tchaikovsky as he delivers the news, seated triumphantly at his organ, rising from Hades through the Helliwells' floor. As the calamity deepens, the very walls split to reveal the scarlet leer of sensuality's revenge upon stolidity.

The expressionist style of John Adams and his designer, Patrick Connelan, certainly gives a lively swirl to Priestley's naturalistic satire. None the less, there is a sense of strain about the effects, and the consequent broadening of the acting style. The show's best moments still rely on character and text - especially Robert McIntosh as Herbert Soppitt, the worm who turns.

Continues to 17 October. Box office: 0532 442111