Review: Woman in Mind, Bury Theatre Workshop, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, 15-18th July

Bury Theatre Workshop continue their summer season of plays with ‘Woman in Mind’ by famous British p

Bury Theatre Workshop continue their summer season of plays with Woman in Mind by famous British playwright, Alan Ayckbourn, to be performed at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds from 15th-18th July 2014. - Credit: Contributed

I can’t get Woman in Mind (directed by Richard Stainer) out of my mind since I saw it last night.

One minute you are laughing about a ‘burnt Earl Grey omelette’ and ‘knickers off, Muriel!” the next you are swimming in empathy for a woman, Susan, (played very convincingly by Liz Jump) who is quite plainly losing her mind.

Susan’s desire to live in an imaginary world is one many women can identify with, especially those with inadequate husbands like her Gerald.

Played hilariously by John Lintin, Gerald is a vicar who expends all his energy writing a boring history of the parish and hanging out with his hapless sister, Muriel (the brilliant Sian Notley), rather than making love to his wife. The picture is completed by a Prodigal son, (Rick), whose view of his mother hits cruelly to the bone and the local doctor Bill Windsor (Mark Jenner) whose creepy designs on Susan quite put me off my ice cream.

Unsurprisingly, faced with this reality, Susan concocts a fantasy life, peopled by her dream daughter, Lucy (Margaret Kinnear-King), who reminded me of a relentlessly cheerful acquaintance, a deeply supportive brother, Tony (Andrew James Deane) and a perfect husband, Andy played with increasing menace by Jonathan Gleeson.

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It was interesting how the ‘perfect’ people began to grate on your nerves as the play went on and my other half and I went home with lots to talk about.

Maybe real life is better than fantasy after all.

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Liz Nice

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