Review: She Called Me Mother, by Michelle Inniss, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, until tonight

Cathy Tyson as Evangeline in She Called Me Mother.

Cathy Tyson as Evangeline in She Called Me Mother. - Credit: Richard Davenport

Living on the streets Evangeline goes through a series of searing emotions which have encapsulated her troubled life.

Suffering from domestic abuse at the hands of her husband Rodney, who sexually abuses her daughter Shirley, she eventually quits the family home and takes to the streets as a “bag lady” where she is found selling charity magazines at London Bridge Station.

This powerful 90-minute one act, two-handed play, stars the magnificent Cathy Tyson, pictured, who takes the role of the tormented woman who has left the sunny shores of Trinidad to come to live in London to find a better life with her family.

But things turn sour for her as life is torn apart by the violence and abuse meted out by her drunk, savage husband.

From a young age Shirley, portrayed with intensity by Chereen Buckley, is “interfered” by her father and on her 16th birthday goes out of the door for the final time.


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But she falls into the same trap as her mother, marries, has two daughters and is subsequently abused by her husband Daniel.

Evangeline displays the familiar traits of a woman suffering abuse and pours all the blame on herself and along with Shirley tell how they are “desperate to love ... and be loved”.

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It’s a modern tale in a modern setting with just the two woman centre stage with the added train announcements on the station tannoy punctuating the dialogue.

The riveting material is so convincingly portrayed by the pair who eventually meet up on the station after being apart for many years and there is an unashamedly outpouring of emotions as they share their stories.

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