A Daughter's A Daughter

This event has now finished. Until Jan 9 2010

Time Out says  

Posted: Wed Dec 23 2009

'The Mousetrap' might be the longest running play in history, while this delicate drawing room drama, a radical departure from the murder scene for Agatha Christie, saw only a week's run when it opened in 1956. But it reveals Christie as a writer of far greater nuance and emotional insight than she's normally credited with.

'A Daughter's Daughter' traces the slightest tear in the fabric of two women's post-war lives, and the complete unravelling that follows. Roy Marsden's elegant revival, the first since the play's premiere, makes for harrowing viewing, thanks largely to Jenny Seagrove's haunting portrait of an ageing widow, Ann, forced to choose between her daughter and her new partner Richard, stoutly delivered by Simon Dutton. 'He's the kind of man,' Honeysuckle Weeks's magnetic Sarah declares, the moment she sets foot back in Blighty and her mother's house, 'who'd make her fetch his slippers.' So he is, but the notion that her mother might be happier so doing than drinking gin and dabbling in cocaine like her arrogantly liberated daughter, is not one Sarah can countenance.

The second half begins three years later, when Ann's decision begins to bear disturbing fruits. Tracey Childs's eagle-eyed, redoubtable Dame Laura presides over this awful harvest as Ann's oldest friend, noting too the subtle shifts in post-war concepts of class, loyalty and femininity. It remains a stiff, antique affair, improbable conversations and unlikely doorbell interruptions abound. But it's also surprisingly potent, shot through with devastating crimes involving nothing so crude as a corpse nor so clean and neat as guilt and innocence. You can't help but wish Christie had been less astonishingly successful as a crime writer if it meant she'd written more plays like this.

Trafalgar Studios details

Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, SW1A 2DY

Trafalgar Studios

A kitsch-free rebel on the outskirts of theatreland, Trafalgar Studios is a modern, minimalist space in the shell of the former Whitehall Theatre....

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