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‘MY MOTHER SAID I NEVER SHOULD’ – CHARLOTTE KEATLEY

3 October 2018 Theatre


‘MY MOTHER SAID I NEVER SHOULD’ – CHARLOTTE KEATLEY

DIRECTED BY MICHAEL CABOT FOR LONDON CLASSIC THEATRE

NEW VIC THEATRE – 2 TO 6 OCTOBER 2018

 

‘My Mother Said I Never Should’ written by Charlotte Keatley back in 1987 is a story about four generations of a family, the trials and tribulations endured by each, and the impact that every generation has on another.

There are just four actresses – Carole Dance (Doris), Connie Walker (Margaret) Kathryn Ritchie (Jackie) and Felicity Houlbrooke (Rosie) who do a delightful and very convincing job of playing their character at different stages of their lives.  It is not just played through a progression of time – the time period moves forwards and backwards throughout.

Although only the women appear on stage, the men play an important part in the dialog.  We don’t see them, but we feel that we know them.

The setting was a clever conceptual combination of all the scenes throughout the play, with ‘the wasteground’ at the centre.  It was hard to take in at first but became more understandable as the play went on.

It is an exquisite combination of the ordinary conversation between female family members, with some surreal, magical moments, particularly with regards to the meeting of all the characters as children and also the portrayal of death.

The depiction of ‘family’ was very easy to relate to with each generation keeping their own secrets and frowning on the next generation, whilst always wanting them to achieve more than they did. We see the hopes and dreams of each generation.  We see the emotion and heartache endured.  We see arguments and differences of opinion but what we see in abundance is an underlying unconditional family love.

I was completely taken by surprise by the play ‘My Mother Said I Never Should’.  It was a very easy play to watch, and despite all of the changes in time from children to grownups and back to children, it was very easy to keep up with. I was completely wrapped up in the characters and their stories, empathising with each and genuinely liking them all.  My surprise comes in that I am still thinking about it and analysing and realising the significance and intricacies of certain parts.

I heartily recommend this play – most people will recognise events from their own family history, and I think this is what makes it so endearing.

Carole Dance as ‘Doris’

Felicity Houlbrooke as ‘Rosie’

Connie Walker as ‘Margaret’

Connie Walker as ‘Margaret’, Felicity Houlbrooke as ‘Rosie’, Kathryn Ritchie as ‘Jackie’

All Photographs courtesy of Sheila Burnett


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