by Joe Wenborne
The Tabard Theatre to 26 September
2 Bath Road, Turnham Green, London W4 11W.
Tues-Sat 7.30 Mat 24 Sept 4pm.
Runs 1hr 20 mins No interval.
TICKETS: 0208 995 6035
Review: William Russell 7 September.
Life after Susan-a good evening’s entertainment
The performances by Linda Clark as a bad tempered old widow and Steven Arnold as her widower son in law transform this rather sentimental and predictable play into a thoroughly pleasant experience.
Rose, the elderly mother of David’s late wife Susan, had been living with them and now she is suddenly insecure following her daughter’s death. How will things go on? Can she stay? Does he want her? Where could she go? David, grief stricken at the loss of his wife, and then shattered when declared redundant at the age of 40 from the firm he has worked for all his life takes to drink, Rose bullies him, he fights back, but after he loses his job they start to discover one another, to slowly become friends.
Then David meets a widow who reminds him of his wife. You can pretty well work it out from there on, but it really doesn’t matter. Joe Wenborne’s plot may be gossamer thin and spring no surprises, but his dialogue is nicely sparky, and both actors rise to their chances. Clark’s problem is that Catherine Tate has rather put the kybosh on old Nans who speak the unspeakable, but to her credit Clark gets away with it in a nicely feisty performance, the surface prickliness concealing the insecurity she feels.
Arnold impressively creates a man first distraught by the loss of his wife, and then shattered by being declared redundant, who discovers the will to start living again through his developing friendship with Rose.
Rose: Linda Clark.
David: Steven Arnold.
Director: Joe Wenborne.
Sound Designer: Peter Dyos.
Set Designer: Mike Leopold.
Lighting Designer: Adam King.