Everywoman presented by Imy Wyatt Corner
What Is It?
A monologue about a woman (or maybe all women’s) relationship to motherhood.
What Is It About?
How mothers see their selves (as in - their selves before/as well as/despite not being a mother). Philip Roth comes out badly in this - his supposedly ‘universal’ novel Everyman, about a marauding womaniser, is the scorned touchpaper from which the monologue springs. The speaker is an unnamed woman, who proceeds to insist that this play, in fact, will relate to everyone in the audience, an initially ironic assertion that garners an uncomfortable truthfulness as the speaker performs episodes from throughout her own life and other women’s about their experience of motherhood. Central to all of them is a probing of the gap between where the woman ends and the mother begins. The play seems to suggest that all women are to a greater or lesser extent socially defined in relation to their role as a mother, whether they are one or not.
How Did It Make Me Feel?
This monologue, refreshingly, doesn’t aim for the chummy wink-wink, self-deprecating humour of theFleabag mould, out of which many Fringe cookies have been cut. Rather, it sits in the queasy, knife-edge place of a true confession, and so is refreshingly ambivalent. The lighting design is super, inflecting the space with a scummy moodiness. Jade Williams is a compelling performer, nimbly and assertively jumping through different characters and chronology. Some scenes are a single line which she spits out as bitter put-downs. The play benefits from Williams being given a strong physical presence; in the middle of the stage is a bath which she fills with buckets of water, balances on, dips a toe in to. This gives a robustness to the production, a wise move to anchor down the wide-ranging script.
The show is followed by a ‘confession’ - a short scratch monologue written and performed by a different woman each night. I was asked not to review it, but it would be priggish not to acknowledge how well this element of the production worked as a response to the main script.
Grace AK x
Everywoman & Other Confessions is playing at the Bunker Theatre until the 22nd February 2020.
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