NO PLACE FOR A WOMAN, 3Star***, London, To 27 05

By Cordelia ONeill.

3Stars ***

Theatre 503, The Latchmere, Battersea Park Road, London SW11 3BW to 27 May 2017.
Tues- Sat 7.45pm Mat Wed & Sat 3pm.
Runs 1hr 15 mins No interval.

TICKETS: 020 7978 7040
Review: William Russell 8 May.

A sense of déjà vu
This very well acted two hander – actually a three hander because the cast is supported by a cellist playing some mood music behind a scrim – has its moments, but playwright Cordelia O’Neill really has nothing new to say. It is set in Poland at the end of the last war and two women are being interviewed by the Allied Forces about their time in a concentration camp. They deliver their monologues, then interact, swop clothes and there is much to do with a fur coat, but as there is no inquisitor what is going is initially puzzling. Is it all a dream? Is it real? Is there some feminist agenda one should grasp? Eventually one realises they are talking about their parallel experiences. Isabella is a young dancer prisoner who has caught the fancy of the sadistic commandant, Annie is the commandant’s wife, a pleasure loving soul who might have been a dancer and who goes along with what is happening because people like her do for love of their man.

The words are delivered with great assurance by Ruth Gemmell and Emma Paetz while behind that scrim Elliott Rennie plays a mean cello to lend atmosphere to the tale. Ms O’Neill has crafted some good speeches, but in terms of story this is territory mined before to greater effect, and the fact that the man in between is seem only through the eyes of the women does not help. This really is one to see for the performances.

Annie: Ruth Gemmell.
Isabella: Emma Paetz.
Musician: Elliott Rennie.

Director: Kate Budgeon.
Designer: Camilla Clarke.
Lighting: Sarah Readman.
Sound: Ella Wahstrom.
Movement Director: Lucy Cullingford.

2017-05-10 10:33:03

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