Written by Steve Hennessy
Directed by Chris Loveless
02 Nov 2010 to 13 Nov 2010
Alma Tavern Theatre, Bristol
* All four plays can be staged and seen separately.
1870. A string of random poisonings around Brighton result in the admission of Christiana Edmunds to Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum. The penny dreadfuls call her the Chocolate Cream Poisoner, but she prefers to be called Venus. Dr. Orange is struggling to understand why. Principal Attendant Coleman is struggling to stay off the drink. The Broadmoor Annual Ball is approaching. Christiana just wants to dance.
Based on the true story of Broadmoor's most notorious female patient.
This production achieved Stepping Out Theatre's highest ever audience figures for a two week run at the Alma, selling out most nights.
'Venus at Broadmoor' was the fifth Theatre West / Stepping Out Theatre Co-production.
Alan Coveney - Dr. Orange / Dr. Beard
Violet Ryder - Christiana Edmunds
Matthew Ward - John Coleman
Director - Chris Loveless
Design and Costume - Rebecca Sellors
Lighting Design - Paul Lewis
Technician - Martin Whatley
Sound - Hoxa
Photography - Toby Farrow
"Most of all, you are left with a sense (made all the more palpable by a mesmeric performance from Violet Ryder as the deluded, fragile but still confidently sexual Christiana) of how the gentle arts of love, sensuality, romance and coquettishness could lighten up the darkness of Britain's most feared lunatic asylum."
Steve Wright, Venue Magazine
"A superb and succinct script recreated the true story of Christina Edmunds, who called herself Venus and distributed poisoned chocolates randomly and remorselessly around 1870s Brighton until diagnosed insane and committed to the asylum . . and a superlative performance from Violet Ryder as the Chocolate Cream Poisoner... no wonder sell-out audiences loved it."
Crysse Morrison, Plays International
"An evocative and dark production, theatrical and fluid . . a story told with clarity and tenderness . . strong characters excellently portrayed. Violet Ryder (Christiana) delivered a spellbinding performance as the self proclaimed 'Venus' . . This is not one to miss."
Emily Buist, The Bristol Evening Post
Stepping Out Theatre
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