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The Independent (London)
21 May 1995, Sunday

By Irving Wardle


Having killed his wife in a car crash, Harold has gone to ground in Wales,
with his Mozart CDs, his job as a humorous columnist and his paralysed
daughter. From the title of James Saunders' Retreat you know that his peace
will be short-lived. Out of the night comes Hannah, daughter of his two best
friends who have also met violent deaths. As an honorary uncle, Harold
greets her with indulgent hospitality - which turns to panic and fury on
discovering that she means to hold him to a promise to take full
responsibility for her and her schizoid brother.

Although there are only two characters, the play resounds with clamorous
voices from the past, as the facts behind the crash emerge, and as Harold
comes to see the intruder both as a mortal threat and as the re-embodiment
of the two people he loved most. The piece is quite marvellously played in
Sam Walters' production by Victoria Hamilton and Tim Pigott-Smith, who
appears as an old softie with a toothy smile for as long as he is in
control, and turns brutally powerful once he emerges as defencelessly

(Submitted by Tara)