Crimes of the Heart

22 Mar

This is a heart-warming comedy.

Though, I do declare, it took me some time to pick the tone. Which is sort of weird, since I usually find any play in which the actors speak in an accent other than their own rather funny. (Maybe I’m just a country hick.)

Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley is set in the South of the USA. It was first produced in 1979 and it won the Pulitzer in 1981.

It’s the story of three sisters facing one hell of a bad day.

CRIMES OF THE HEART (c) Rupert Reid

Photo by Rupert Reid

Director Janine Watson’s production has class. The set by Jonathan Hindmarsh looks terrific. The cast are great fun to watch, creating kooky, vivacious, engaging characters.

Some would call these characters Larger-than-Life, but I find the phrase rather parochial; Life is plenty big enough to fit all we can ever throw at it.

The phrase a ‘bad day’ is also problematic, but in this case because it’s a vast understatement. On this particular day, Babe (Renae Small) has just shot her husband and faces prison. Her glamorous sister Meg (Amanda McGregor) returns home at the news and is forced to admit her show biz pretensions are a fraud. And Lenny (Laura Pike), plain, simple, strong Lenny, who’s stayed at home to care for their ailing grandfather, has just turned 30, and no one’s noticed. And hovering behind all this is the dreadful knowledge that their mother took her own life in this very house – because of a ‘bad day’.

Yes, it is a comedy; funny, feel good, and like all of the best comedy, with a vision of Life not to be laughed at.

For what’s the solution to bad days? Just keep having more of them, and acknowledge you’re not alone in it.

Paul Gilchrist

 

Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley

at Old Fitz til 8 April

Info and tix  here

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