2008 saw the UK première of Tennessee Williams’s one act play, The Pink Bedroom, 25 years after the playwrights death. It deals with individual desire against societal prescription. But in a far more permissive epoch, does the play still mean anything? Appropriately, the play is set in a pink bedroom – a boudoir built by a man to sequester his lover from the world. However, their decade long relationship is drawing to an acrimonious close as one demands more than the other is able to give.
3BUGS Fringe Theatre’s staging, along with Wuthering Heights, is part of their Morning After Season – a reference to the come-down after the ecstasy. While this performance is nothing special, it’s a perfectly competent vehicle for Williams’ lyricism. The dim, rosy glow of the room and sanguine radio records give the impression of enforced tranquility masking a repressed maelstrom. The actors are good without being brilliant, effectively presenting to the audience the idea that a “real” marriage is a union of hearts, the institution more about regulating love than nurturing it. Here the play remains potent, for with the constant promotion matrimony by the Tories, The Pink Bedroom demonstrates the inimical effects of state sanctioned partnership.