Friday, 30 January 2009

Berkoff's Women - Christ's Hospital, Horsham

Berkoff's Women by Stephen Berkoff
Devised by Linda Marlowe

Director: Josie Lawrence

Reviewer: John Roberts

After a meeting with long term friend Stephen Berkoff over a coffee in Covent Garden, an idea was planted and it took root and what came out was this one woman show using the hard edged over sexed and dominating women from Berkoff's plays and compiled to create a 70 minute production.

You cannot deny that Linda Marlowe is an outstanding performer, she boasts amazing stage presence, energy and exuberance that is very rarely seen on stage and the pace that she pounds through Berkoff's material is staggering, along with some energetic routines during scenes taken from Decadence, Agamemnon, West and others. My personal favorite being the touching yet slightly shocking monologue of Mum from East, one couldn't help but feel a level of sympathy for her desire to be loved. With some simple but effective direction from Josie Lawrence throughout you cant help watching, but unfortunately after a while that's all you do.

I found myself losing interest in the subject matter that most of these women inhabit, there is only so much one person can take on with listening to overbearing sexual women and their exploits of bringing off men to orgasm or how numb a woman is from to much sex, but this isn't Marlowe's fault... The fault lies in taking the highly sexed writing of Berkoff, take them out of context from their original source and try and make an audience connect with them, unfortunately for this reviewer that connection never truly happened and made me feel cold, numb and slightly underwhelmed by the whole experience.

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