A Passionate Woman Review at The Everyman Theatre.
Nights out as a Mum are so rare, finding a time when you are both free and both children are well are few and far between.
Luckily one of my besties and I managed to coordinate one of these rare nights out with the opening night of a play at the Everyman Theatre, A Passionate Woman.
I haven’t been to the theatre to see something for myself in the longest time. I have seen many productions there, all brilliant, but all for children and so it was a real novelty to be out at night seeing something with absolutely no children in sight!
There is something very special about a trip to see something performed live on stage. We are so used to seeing polished performances, the result of multiple takes and cgi enhancements that going back to the bare roots of entertainment and seeing people acting in real time is so enjoyable.
The play is written by Kay Mellor, who wrote Band Of Gold, a program I was a big fan of, and has an excellent cast. It is on at the Everyman until Saturday (see times and buy tickets here) and then tours the country, calling at Exeter, Malvern, Guildford, Sheffield, Northampton and Leeds.
The stage is set in the loft of the main character Betty, played by the wonderful
Liza Goddard, as she tries her hardest to avoid the wedding of her son, unable to let him go, she busies herself with tidying up and taking a trip down memory lane as she sorts out the cluttered room.
I found her monologues brilliant. Funny and heartwarming, although I thought she was very selfish and I found her quite frustrating in many scenes. I’m not sure how I’d feel on my own son’s big day however, so possibly it was a very accurate portrayal, I’ll let you know!! 😀
I also found the scenes between mother and son Mark, played by Antony Eden, comedy gold, although tinged with sadness, and the performances given were brilliant, there was some real talent on stage.
The play had some bizarre and unexpected twists and turns, her ex lover appearing as a ghost being one, which resulted in some scenes that I have to say that both myself and my friend found uncomfortable to watch. The story expanded to include Betty’s husband Donald, played by Russell Dixon, a character that you started out disliking and then I actually ended up feeling quite sorry for.
After the interval, the play galloped to a finish with some fast paced, farcical comedic scenes that had the audience howling with laughter. There were also some more twists that I don’t want to give away but let’s just say that I will be amazed if you guess the ending!
Although the play was well written and extremely funny in parts, but I was left a little speechless and faintly disappointed by the ending and I’m not sure that I enjoyed the second half as much as the first half, which I thought had real promise. I’m left wondering if perhaps I wasn’t quite the target age for the play, as it was clear that there were a lot of people present that evening that thoroughly enjoyed the performance and the ending, I think the heavy doses of 1960s nostalgia were just not my era.
Despite the play not being quite my cup of tea, I had a very enjoyable evening and I simply love the Everyman theatre as a venue, and would happily while away many evenings enjoying it’s majestic splendor, it is so beautiful and has a wonderful atmosphere. I think a trip to the theatre makes an excellent night out, and I’m looking forward to many more to come.
A top tip when parking in the car park is that you can take the staircase directly down into the theatre, (near where you come in on the left hand side just before the car park narrows to go up), which means you don’t have to go outside, and also that you can buy your ticket when you arrive if it is after 6pm as there is a flat £2.50 fee for the night, which saves you queuing up to pay at the end.
Do you love the theatre? And have you seen the play? I’d love to know what you thought.
Disclaimer: I received complimentary tickets to see A Passionate Woman in exchange for a frank and honest review.