Posts Tagged ‘Deborah Bruce’

As contemporary plays go, this is an unpredictable and complex piece by Deborah Bruce, which takes as it’s starting point the somewhat taboo subject of a mother leaving her children and explores how this tests her relationships with her girl friends. I liked it, despite the fact it leaves the reasons for desertion unexplained.

It’s set in Kate’s home in Brighton. She and husband Dewi (a Welsh name they irritatingly mispronounce continually) are new parents who’ve had to try hard to get a child. Her friend, single mum Alex, has come down from London so that she and Kate can help their mutual best friend Bea, who has returned to the UK inexplicably leaving her two children with her Australian husband Simon.

Bea can’t articulate why she left and her friends can’t understand why she could. The play explores issues of parenthood and friendship and it covers much more than the core issue. Alex’s 15-year-old son Liam had been left ‘home alone’ in Peckham but comes to Brighton fleeing the 2011 London riots. Dewi and Vinnie, his brother who is staying there, take parental duties whilst the girls talk during the course of the evening and night.

The play is framed by flashback scenes where Bea and Simon meet en route to Australia, but I’m not sure how much value these add. The inconclusive ending is a bit unsatisfying too. Nonetheless, it’s a good play with an excellent ensemble. It’s a tribute to Charlotte Lucas performance as Kate that I wanted to get out of my seat and tell her what I thought, and there’s a hugely impressive professional debut by Joshua Sinclair-Evans as Liam.

Good to see the Orange Tree and Sheffield Theatres combining to bring good new plays to both cities, and good to see it getting a second outing.

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