Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, November 03, 2023

The Confessions @ Lyttelton Theatre...

Last night Stuart and I went to see The Confessions, a new play by Alexander Zeldin, at the Lyttelton Theatre on London's glitzy South Bank.
An old woman, Alice, wanders on to stage right at the start of the play saying that she has an unremarkable life. "I am not interesting. I have nothing of interest to tell". Nothing could be further from the truth.
Spanning eight decades the action takes us from Australia 1943 to London 2021. It's an intimate portrait of one woman's life, Zeldin's mother, the aforementioned Alice (played initially by Amelda Brown, but in flashback by Eryn Jean Norvill).
Alice is learning to be herself against the times she lives in. But how do those times shape who we are? Alice’s complex relationships become a common thread in her personal journey, in this intimate portrait of a life.
Repressed by own her mother, forced into an unhappy marriage, trying to find her feet as an art historian, Alice is compromised as every turn. She is sorely abused throughout her life too - professionally, emotionally, and sexually. 
An off-stage rape sees us staring at the closed bathroom door while the assault happens inside. We are not spared a moment waiting for Alice's attack to be over. For five long minutes we sit helplessly waiting for Alice to reappear.
It's a compelling story, but not without its humour too - early on in the play a meal at her parent's house is akin to Abigail's Party. Yes, that funny. And Alice's friends provide beautiful comic foils to each trail and tribulation. 
Yet, through the laughter and the tears we see a woman finding her way in the world. Always told she could amount to nothing. But defying those odds.
Go see.

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