The Other Place, Park London, 3***: William Russell



by Shar White.


The Park Theatre, Park 2000, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, London N4 3JP to 20 October 2018.

Mon-Sat 7.30pm Mat Thu & Sat 3pm.

Runs 75 mins No interval.

TICKETS: 020 7070 0876

Review: William Russell 27 September.

An enlightening journey into the dark

Juliana is a neurologist, a brilliant woman with a successful career, a marriage which may or may not be on the rocks, and a daughter with whom she may be estranged. Karen Archer delivers a powerful and moving performance as Juliana and gets fine support from the rest of the cast, Neil McCaul as her husband Ian, and Eliza Collins and Rupinder Nagra as all the other people in her life.

Juliana is suffering from dementia and we see the world through her eyes, a world she knows is changing, one in which she keeps a grip on her vanishing memory by clinging to the most familiar things. But while it is effective it is also confusing at times, one is never quite certain what is true, what is a misremembered memory as she quarrels with her doctor, fights with her husband, seeks a reconciliation with their daughter, who apparently ran away from home after an affair with one of Juliana’s colleagues and now lives with him and their daughters. One is never sure what is true, what Julian is muddling up. Is there something in the past she regrets, something she did, or is she imagining it all, confusing what happened with how she now feels as she clings to something familiar.

But there is no denying the power of Archer’s performance. She remains on stage throughout switching seamlessly from one mood to the next. The play makes an interesting contrast with Still Alice, currently on tour, which also dealt with a career woman fighting the same losing battle. There we watched something develop, here we are involved in what Juliana is going through.

Juliana: Karen Archer.

The Woman: Eliza Collings.

Ian: Neil Mc Caul.

The Man: Rupinder Nagra.

Director: Claire van Kampen.

Designer: Jonathan Fenson.

Lighting Designer: Paul Russell.

Sound Designer: John Leonard.

Movement Director: Antonia Franceschi.

Dialect Coach: Martin McKellan.

Production Photography: Mark Douet.


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