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Review of Women Redressed: Act II at Jermyn Street Theatre

Women RedressedIn life, women face trials that alter their perceptions of reality. Women Redressed: Act II is a vivid feature on how women address emotional and painful life-changing events.

Four 30-minute pieces come together to tell the stories of the lost, grieving and broken in Sheer Height Theatre’s Women Redressed: Act II. Glenda Cooper, Ita Fitzgerald, Rosie Macpherson and Sabiha Mank wrote four brilliantly moving scripts that portray the lives and feelings of women. The collective production gives a powerful voice to women in theatre. Seeing these strong women on stage performing complex characters is an inspiration for up and coming artists.

An Audience With Margret’s Wardrobe‘ and ‘Safe‘ had two wonderfully contrived scripts. The portrayal of a family in mourning over the loss of their son in ‘Safe‘ was not only emotionally impactful, but it represented the bond of a close family. Aria Prasad as Layla, speaking to the spirit of her brother was refreshing to watch. This action was a move toward finding closure and Prasad’s feisty, yet caring personality showed how her character soon became the cornerstone of her family. This theme of death ran along the same theme in ‘An Audience With Margaret’s Wardrobe‘. The family felt a different kind of distance from their loved one Margaret. They handled the subject of cancer delicately – very well done – with a slight touch of humour.

Even with the loss of their daughter, sister or friend, the actors fully captured the cross dynamic of a collective in mourning.

Starting off the programme was ‘Aid Memoir‘, a witty piece set in a time when the UK had a massive financial crisis. Though the script was intriguing, some character choices needed more clarity. Taz’s (Sarah Auber) shaking hand was clear to the audience, but the reason why her hand was shaking was not. There was more to hear about the history of Taz and Chelle (Megan McKie-Smith) that would have given more depth to the story. Opposite of that performance was Jennifer Greenwood in ‘Homefront‘. Greenwood completely embodied the emotional struggles of her character Tilly and brought a whole knew meaning to the concept of being genuine in character.

During the ever-changing times of women in theatre, Women Redressed: Act II has brought new and intense dramas to the Jermyn Street Theatre this week. With its dynamic characters and well-told stories, this production acts as a voice for everyday women.

4 stars

Review by Aly Chromy

Women Redressed: Act II
10th – 13th April 2017
Jermyn Street Theatre
16b Jermyn St
London SW1Y 6ST
Running Time: 2 hours 30 minutes, including one interval

Following sell-out successes at Park Theatre in July & August 2016, Arcola in March 2016 and Arts Theatre in November 2015, feminist theatre company Sheer Height are back with their hit theatre festival, Women Redressed.

Taking place in two parts, Act I & Act II, the festival will showcase new work from emerging UK writers that explores and confronts some of the biggest issues facing women today.

Recognising that stories from the female perspective are all too infrequently brought to life, Women Redressed presents theatre that plants female characters centre stage and probes our perceptions and expectations of gender.

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