Home » London Theatre Reviews » Flowers For The Chateaux – Graeae | Review

Flowers For The Chateaux – Graeae | Review

A brief two-hander (and by brief, we’re talking about the same length as a single episode of BBC Radio 4’s The Archers), Flowers For The Chateaux sees the respective adoptive mothers of their grown-up children Adam and Lily, an engaged couple, meet over Zoom for the first time in decades.
Flowers For The Chateaux

By nature of the show’s setting, it’s almost all exposition, though the current feelings of Lisbeth, (Naomi Wirthner), Lily’s mother, come to the fore, once she realises who Julia (Julie Graham), Adam’s mother, is.

You will have to forgive a monumental spoiler alert, but it is so central to the narrative that it is unavoidable: the two ladies were former lovers, who once lived together. Their relationship ended abruptly (for reasons we need not go into here), but the scars run deep, and they are only reunited as the parents of people tying the knot. Parts of the narrative are quite harrowing, especially when the duo start recounting their experiences of living as a same-sex couple in an era of corrective rape (even if that exact term isn’t specifically used).

Flowers For The ChateauxBricks through windows and offensive messages sprayed on the front door are all well within living memory, but it’s not all doom and gloom: Lisbeth recognises the need to move on, and they are at least able to agree on doing the very best for “the children”. But as Adam and Lily are about to join in the Zoom call, the women put on their happy faces and encouraging smiles, despite previously noting the youngsters’ intelligence and ability to ‘see through’ facades. The show seems to be about human nature as much as it is about dealing with the past.

As I’ve often said, it is better for a show to leave the audience wanting more than for it to outstay its welcome. But there’s definitely scope to expand this piece of theatre and explore in greater depth the issues raised. ‘Connection issues’ are highly relatable a time when even job interviews are conducted by way of video-conferencing (I speak from personal experience on that point). But here the term has a double meaning – that is, there are ‘connection issues’ between Lisbeth and Julia that will need to be ironed out one way or another. The production is a promising start, but it feels unfinished, and is over before it’s had a chance to really get going.

3 Star Review

Review by Chris Omaweng

FLOWERS FOR THE CHATEAUX
by Rebekah Bowsher
A woman discovers that her future son-in-law’s mother is the ex who dumped her by postcard 20-odd years ago.
https://graeae.org/

Author

Scroll to Top