Life at the bottom of a bottle with Confessional at Southwark Playhouse


Share a drink with a group of shameless lowlifes and watch their lives implode…

Tennessee Williams’ little known play, Confessional is re-imagined for the London stage. Set in Monk’s Bar, this Confessional finds itself in a run-down British seaside resort on the Essex coast where it is frequented by life’s flotsam and jetsam.

The audience at Southwark Playhouse will be seated in the pub with the locals while the action kicks off around them.

Rob Ostlere, Gavin Brocker & Lizzie Stanton.
Rob Ostlere, Gavin Brocker & Lizzie Stanton.

Join the bar’s regulars over the course of one furious and fun evening, as a pair of strangers enters their world – and all hell breaks loose.

The action focuses around Leona Dawson, a caravan park beautician who discovers her layabout boyfriend has been cheating on her with her mentally ill best friend.

To add insult to injury, it’s also the anniversary of her younger brother’s death.

With alcohol-fuelled emotions already running high, tensions increases when a pair of gay men come into the bar, one of whom reminds Leona of her dead brother, who was also gay.

As Leona gets drunker she alternates between ranting at the regulars, bragging about her self-sufficiency and her itinerant life in a caravan, and listening to the two strangers tell stories about the experience of being homosexual – something she knows will irritate her homophobic friends.

Directed by Jack Silver, Confessional, Williams’ first play to feature an openly gay character, will gets its London professional premiere at the Southwark Playhouse from October 5-29.

Confessional transfers to London following a critically-acclaimed run at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

Silver says: “You don’t know until the very end, which of your fellow drinkers/ audience members has a speaking part.

“I want the audience to feel unsafe, I want them to have a physical reaction to the play which means something in their instinct compels them to watch.

“When you sit on the Underground and there’s a sketchy guy on the train, you have to watch him, even out of the corner of your eye. Because something deep within you says that if you don’t watch out, you might not be safe.

“I’m trying to recreate that instinct, to compel you to watch.”

Lizzie Stanton reprises her critically-acclaimed role as Leona, and the cast features Rob Ostlere (best known for playing Arthur Digby for three years in Holby City, and Waymar Royce in Game of Thrones), Gavin Brocker (Mapp & Lucia, Beautiful Thing) with Raymond Bethley, Simone Somers-Yeates, and AF McLoughlin also returning and newcomers Jack Archer and Alex Kiffin.

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