My Mother Said

Lowther Pavilion, Lytham

Friday, 29th November 2013, 10:56 am
Theatre review
Theatre review

Conflict between the generations has been a rich vein of gold for dramatists in every culture from Sophocles onwards.

Charlotte Keatley’s 1987 play, first seen at Manchester’s Contact Theatre, mines expertly into that seam and focuses on the lives of four generations of Lancashire women.

Her work receives expert treatment from the four talented actresses who make up the Anonymous Players’ cast.

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Bernadette Scully is the pivot amongst the quartet and turns in her best performance for the Players, an accomplished portrayer here of all the emotions.

Kirsten Burnett as the first of the line, born in 1900, captures the imprisonment of her marriage which she recounts excellently in her soliloquies.

The episodic nature of the play, not in chronological order, requires concentration from the audience and the second half could do with more slickness between scenes, but the clarity of speaking is superb throughout.

Anna Cross, as the rejected Rosie, comes into her own in a powerful scene as she finds her true mother and Louise Davies is a suitable mass of contradictions as the wannabe independent and self-sufficient Jackie.

The play very slightly shows its age as the present OMG generation is never reached, but it’s a thought-provoking study which accurately portrays the changing social attitudes of women in the twentieth century.

The play continues until Saturday

Julian Wilde