Friday, 25 July 2014

Three Women @ 24:7 Festival, 23.07.14

Three Women is an inter-generational drama about coping with loss, and how life has a knack of passing its patterns down through the family tree. Written by Mari Lloyd and directed by Peter Mitchelson, it tells the story of Lorraine (Jackie Jones), her daughter Ellie (Lily Shepherd) and Nan (Annie Edwards). Ellie has just had a miscarriage from an unexpected pregnancy, which sends Lorraine into feelings she thought she had forgotten. Unwilling or unable to communicate with one another directly, Nan arrives and attempts to smooth things over. Blame, shame and confusion ensue as the three try to come to terms with what has happened and with how they feel towards each other.

Although there is a good idea at the play’s heart, neither the script nor the performance manage to get the most out of it. Much of what happens involves people changing their minds quickly, switching from one decision or feeling to another and back again. While this may indeed be what happens in real life, the lack of space makes the play feel rushed, giving a sense that although a lot is being said not a lot is actually happening. This leads to the story stagnating somewhat, and it never really makes much progression after the opening 15 minutes. Indeed, the start actually works quite well because it is taken at a slower pace and has almost no dialogue.

A couple of elements did work: the set design was excellent, a cut above what you would normally expect from a fringe piece. The casting was also a success, as the three women made a believable family unit and worked well together. However, this is a case of what might have been rather than what actually was, with Three Women remaining a promising concept rather than becoming a successful play.

Words: Andrew Anderson

No comments:

Post a Comment