With flawless poetic dialogue, this adventurous play awakens our social conscience

archive review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 04 Aug 2007
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115270 original
Through its exploration of the various social repercussions of poverty within American society, this play sets out to present the hardships endured by those at the bottom of the food chain.

This theme is dramatised through the eyes of a mother who struggles to keep her family together in the face of economic adversities. The mother is played by three actresses, all of whom intermittently take on the role of the other characters evoked within the main narrative. The result is richly textured piece which contains few temporal or spatial boundaries, seemingly slipping between past and present the three actresses re-create moments from the mother's life in a sequence of events which are engaging and often haunting.

The dialogue is flawless, shot through with a poetic thread which adds tragic beauty to the frequently harrowing scenes. The three actresses deliver solid performances, however their acting is undermined by some heavy-handed direction. The play is also let down by a tendency to make caricature of the characters in an attempt to convey a message of social injustice which is already dealt with adequately by the dialogue. This remains, however, an adventurous piece which sets out to awaken our social conscience and for the large part, it succeeds.