A Woman Alone at #73 Tabard Theatre

A one-woman show starring Daniela Lavender, A Woman Alone is an unusual duologue performed only by one person. Talking to her neighbour, who we cannot see, this is a woman who has been put under house arrest by her own husband for starting an affair with her French tutor. Well-sustained, funny and compelling, the play verges on the edge of the surreal.

The play is at its strongest when we are left to imagine the characters that fill this woman’s life. It’s something of a disappointment when her wheelchair-bound, one-armed, trumpet-playing brother-in-law is wheeled on to the stage – an underwhelming dummy with a bugle stuck round its hand.

The set consists of a lively collage of photographs of murderesses, and provides us with a curious backdrop. The idea of murder apparently not entering her head until the last five minutes of the show, when her neighbour suggests it to her (unless we assume her to be a hallucinated companion) makes the design pre-emptive of the action.

An interesting comment on freedom of choice and what it means to really be forgiven for an affair, A Woman Alone is a provocative short play. It does, however, tend toward the repetitive, and we feel at times that Lavender is perhaps carrying a text that would otherwise be inclined rather to drag.

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