Review: I Was A Wife, Dukes, Lancaster
Polly Lister was right to receive a standing ovation for her play I Was A Wife.
The actress has played many roles during her career and is a regular face at the Dukes, playing most recently in Beauty and the Beast. Strip back the make-up, the costumes and the extravagant personalities and you just get Polly.
But in this case Polly is all you need.
With only herself to contend with Polly retold her most difficult role, a wife, to a packed out Round, with nowhere to hide and nowhere to go.
Directed by Joe Sumsion the play takes you backstage in Polly’s dressing room and to various points during her marriage.
This new production blends songs with witty storytelling and high energy performance in an intimate exploration of love, loss and the search for answers.
The rawness of overcoming divorce was still fresh in Polly’s mind, it twinged with the audience and every face could identify.
I, on the very front row, was one of those faces.
The therapeutic honesty was so refreshing yet so clear it tore inside. I felt vulnerable as Polly acted out her first meeting with her ex-husband, her wedding, her arguments, her final goodbye and her breaking points.
Losing someone after a two-year marriage whilst having to perform every night is hard but achievable as first time writer Polly demonstrated.
I held such admiration for Polly during her performance, and still do.
At first the openness made me uncomfortable, I questioned how she would do this on her own, like an open diary with only the audience to rely upon.
It did have a happy ending, Polly came out on top, as a successful first time writer who is moving on to bigger and better things. Heartbreak can be devastating but it can be so much more than that too. Thank you Polly.
Polly Lister has recently won the 2015 UK Theatre Award for Best Performance in a Play, for her role as Beverley in Theatre By The Lake’s production of Abigail’s Party.
I Was A Wife runs until Saturday February 6. To book call the box office on 01524 598500.