Woman in Mind
Opened 6 Feb 2009
Written: by Alan Ayckbourn
Directed: Alan Ayckbourn
Cast: Janie Dee, Perdita Avery, Stuart Fox, Bill Champion, Joanna David, Dominic Hecht, Paul Kemp, Martin Parr
Synopsis: Like many other women in the UK, Susan lives with a boring, inconsiderate and unattractive husband. Like many other women, this drives her mad. Enter Susan’s mind, where fantasy and reality collide with devastating and hilarious consequences. Woman in Mind tells the mesmerising tale of a woman’s struggle with her imagination.
What the popular press had to say.....
NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "His play is ingenuity incarnate but psychologically speaking his characters remain too generalised archetypes to arouse my sympathy." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "That marvellous and criminally undervalued actress Janie Dee has long excelled in Ayckbourn, and she is in magnificent form here as Susan...Ayckbourn's production powerfully captures the dark humour, sharp pain and sheer weirdness of this remarkable play." DAVID BENEDICT for VARIETY says, "The revival is bedeviled by ponderousness. With the exception of the high-speed penultimate sequence where Susan gets lost in a nightmare of her daughter's wedding, the pace is painfully slow." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "In Susan, he creates one of the great female roles in modern drama - and what Janie Dee captures superbly is the sense of a personality in flux...It is a tremendous performance richly buttressed by Stuart Fox as the negligent husband and Paul Kemp as the fatuous, beaming doctor. They are the chief source of the play's laughter which, as so often in Ayckbourn, is flecked with pain." SARAH HEMMING for THE FINANCIAL TIMES says, "One of the most remarkable aspects of this play is Ayckbourn’s ability to maintain his comic touch, even while dealing with increasingly serious matters...However, there is a sizeable problem with this production (directed by Ayckbourn), to do with the pacing...The conceit remains ingenious, but a lighter-fingered, brisker production might have increased the poignancy of the play." JOHN THAXTER for THE STAGE says, "Stunning revival."
Production photo by Keith Pattison