Review: Woman in Mind, Open Space, Beccles Public Hall, May 9
Despite being almost 30 years old, this play resonates today with its ideas, characters and that bitter-sweet comic/tragic life commentary we expect from Alan Ayckbourn.
Susan (mesmerisingly played by Yves Green) is a woman of a certain age going through a mental breakdown. She has created a fantasy life that becomes ever more real and gradually merges with her banal ‘normal’ world.
Her husband (Geoff Cadman), her real son (Jake Kubala), her sister in law (Gill Mullen) and the hugely eccentric, comic doctor (Simon Evans) are cleverly interwoven with the idealism of her parallel family.
The oily fantasy husband (Paul Baker), his brother (Steven Phipps) and the daughter she always wanted (Emma Martin) see and despise the real people and offer her an escape into warmth, love and joy.
Action is in the garden with the audience on three sides, close to Ayckbourn’s beloved in-the-round approach, which involves everyone closely in her delusions.
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Director David Green has surpassed himself with this one, achieving consummate performances from all his actors and creating a moving experience for all.
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