Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Women on the Verge of HRT - Lowry Theatre, Salford

Women on the Verge of HRT by Marie Jones
Director: Noreen Kershaw

Reviewer: Jacqui Senaun

Women on the Verge of HRT, the title itself tells the story. This could be the story of so many women today. Indeed from the start you could be on the stage yourself. Although the set is simple, it is the perfect set up. You do not have to use your imagination to believe that this scene could be happening in most bedrooms.

The story tells of two women, Vera played by Louise Jameson and Anna played by Janet Dibley, from Belfast away for the weekend to see Daniel O'Donnell. Once they get back to the hotel engage in what can only be described as a brilliant and hilarious take on what has become of their lives. Vera, who sees herself as being thrown on the scrapheap of middle age women that nobody wants to see, to Anna who is married to Marty, and has accepted her lot in life.

At first it seems that Vera, who is the more outgoing and outspoken one is the centre of the story but the contrast that is Anna's life is revealed as the play goes along when she admits the loneliness of her own marriage. Enter the waiter Fergal played by Aidan O'Neill, who plays a seemingly nervous man. During the first act of the play he only makes short visits to the stage but with his singing and glitter ball this pulls even the audience in.

The second act of the play was set on the shores of a bay at dawn, with the wailing of the Banshee. This sees Fergal playing the parts of Vera's husband and his new wife who by the way is 25 years younger than him and Anna's husband. He played each part well and got across the message they had to tell. The ending was a little disappointing, with such an abrupt ending one wonders if the playwright didn't really know how to tie things up.

Women on the verge of HRT, will speak to every women, no mater what age, whether being of the verge of HRT is something in the far distant future, something that is happening now or has already happened. It is at one moment funny and then the next moment thought provoking.

Women on the Verge of HRT runs at The Lowry, Salford Quays until the 27th June 2009
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