Boston Marriage  
Boston Marriage

by David Mamet

Directed by Zizi Sulkin

Tuesday 8th - Saturday 12th November, 2005

The Tower Theatre performing at the Bridewell Theatre


Cast List

Anna : Julie Dark
Maid : Liz Pilling
Claire : Rosalind Moore


Production Team

Director : Zizi Sulkin
Set Design : Jeff Kelly and Keith Syrett
Lighting Design : Laurence Tuerk
Costume Design : Clare Amos

Stage Managers : Dinah Irvine and Roanne Insley
ASMs : Jill Batty, Martin Mulgrew
Lighting & Sound operator : Jane Pallant
Sound tape : Phillip Ley

A Brilliant Evening at the Bridewell
Review published in Kenric Members Magazine, December 2005

In November, a most entertaining evening was spent at the Bridewell Theatre seeing the first night of the Tower Theatre Company's presentation of the highly witty and entertaining play Boston Marriage by David Mamet.

The title of the play is a codified term that was used in 19th century New England society to denote a long term relationship between two women. The play has a cast of three, two women and a long suffering maid. It is a clever and highly entertaining plot. Anna (played by Julie Dark), whose house it is in which the action takes place, is kept by a wealthy man who provides her with the wherewithal which unbeknown to him, enables her to maintain herself and her lover Claire (played by Rosalind Moore) in considerable comfort and style. However, Claire has acquired a passion for a young woman she has met and the play opens with Claire delicately engaged in informing Anna. Needless to say, Anna is not amused and even less so when Claire exhorts her to allow her intended seduction of the young woman under Anna's own roof!

However, their plans for the seduction are rudely interrupted; the patron removes his financial patronage, scuttling all their plans and leaving them to ponder the horrors of a life of penury! The maid is alternately browbeaten and coerced in a wickedly funny part played here by Liz Pilling, who delivers her responses in a marvellously lugubrious manner and with perfect timing, creating an amusing contrast to the elegant and sophisticated repartee of Anna and Claire - very Oscar Wilde !

The ensuing twists and turns of the plot gave these actors every opportunity to exploit their talent, which was particularly evident in the delightful subtlety of the relationship that the actors playing Anna and Claire created.

Costume is very important in this play, signalling the status as well as the personality of the wearer; designed by Clare Amos they did just that. Anna and Claire's costumes were quite splendid and the fact that they were worn by two extremely attractive women added considerably to the evening's pleasure.

The formal language of the nineteenth century can present a challenge to actors, particularly as here the script is full of innuendo and witty repartee requiring subtle use of tone and facial expression. Perfect timing is then of the essence, but it was all handled with great style and apparent ease. There was just one stage set : the sitting room of Anna's house. It was elegantly minimalist, designed with a subtle and humorous attention to detail.

The Bridewell Theatre is the present home of the Tower Theatre Company. They produce as many as eighteen plays a year; not bad going for a group of dedicated players who are holding down jobs as well. I look forward to seeing more of this company; keep your eyes open and pass the message on !