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My Mother Said I Never Should (Student Editions)

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Much is left unsaid between the four women, and this gives extra weight to the climactic scene between Jackie and Rosie, when the truth of their relationship is finally revealed and Jackie bares her soul in a heart-breaking desperate speech. LK – The Deaf history, so like Doris (Ali) back in the time she would have no access to sign language because of the Milan Conference in 1880. In all three scenes in the play, there is a feeling of suppression of emotions together with feelings of duty, responsibility and social issues. Paul Robinson directs the production with sensitivity and it is because of seeing previous successes by him at Theatre 503, Battersea, that we ended up here at the unfamiliar Bush Theatre.

Seen today, in Paul Robinson’s impeccable revival, it strikes me as warm, witty and well structured, but also wordy. Serena Manteghi is vibrant and animated as the youngest character, and it’s touching to see her grow.On the road since September 11 th, it is of no surprise that the play runs smoothly, with effortless costume changes, prop alterations and proxemics by the four hard-working actresses on their final stop at York Theatre Royal. There’s a sense of movement for the women – at one point Margaret says to Jackie ‘You’ve got to go further than me – otherwise, what’s it been worth? Liberated from their relationship to men, this is a provocative exploration of the formation of the female identity in conflict with the sweeping social changes of 20th century England. Since its premiere in 1987 it has been produced in over 30 countries and garnered Keatley an Olivier Award nomination for most promising newcomer.

As the play opens in the Wasteland, as Charlotte Keatley describes it, we are introduced to four young girls playing games, singing songs and, more disturbingly deciding to kill mummy. Huge congratulations and respect also has to go to Hilary Jones, who stepped in at the last moment to play Margaret due to Caroline Faber having to step down – this performance was the first configuration of the cast, and only the second time they had met. The songs never intruded and continued for just enough time to identify what year, roughly, we were in.I think that London Classic Theatre had developed the plot a little bit more with Doris particularly who was the stalwart of the piece and that the set was very effective to support a reworking. The growing assertiveness of women is documented, applauded, but also recognized as being problematic.

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