Woman in Mind

Alan Ayckbourn’s ‘Woman in Mind’ is a painful comedy about the breakdown of a middle-class housewife, Susan, presented from her perspective. Two families cohabit in Susan’s mind: her real family (her dreary Reverend of a husband, insipid sister-in-law and son who’s disappeared after joining a cult) and her imagined family (the ‘perfect’ husband, doting brother and admiring daughter.) Gerald, the real husband, is apathetic, unsupportive and unsympathetic. His sister is a pain. Meanwhile, the GP is trying to flirt with Susan. As Susan gets worse, the two worlds begin to blur: the imagined family becomes nightmarish, no longer under her control.

Text from Camdram.

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Helen Vella Taylor and Bethan Davidson
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Bethan Davidson and Xanthe Burdett.

‘I don’t know what my role is these days. I don’t know any longer what I’m supposed to be doing. I used to be a wife. I used to be a mother. And I loved it. People said, Oh, don;t you long to get out and do a proper job? And I’d say, No thanks, this is a proper job, thank you. Mind your own business. But not it isn’t anymore. The thrill has gone’

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Carine Valarche, Hollie Witton, Bethan Davidson and Xanthe Burdett
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Xanthe Burdett and Bethan Davidson
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Bethan Davidson and Benedict Flett

You bullied him into that scholarship and then packed him off to that piddling little public school where he never saw anything female aged under fifty-five or weighing less than fifteen stone till the day he left…

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Benedict Flett, Louisa Keight and Bethan Davidson
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Bethan Davidson and Hollie Witton

We’re just all so proud of you, Mummy, you’ve no idea. I know you won’t read these things, but did you know that last Sunday in the Observer, they called you probably our most important living historical novelist…

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Bethan Davidson, Benedict Flett and Helen Vella Taylor
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Hollie Witton, Carine Valarché and Bethan Davidson
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Bethan Davidson, Hollie Witton and Carine Valarché
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Bethan Davidson and Joe Piere
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Hollie Witton and Bethan Davidson
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Xanthe Burdett

There are all sorts of games we can play, you see. With our minds.

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Bethan Davidson and Helen Vella Taylor

Absolutely, positive. Listen, I’ve seen countless people going off their heads on several occasions and they were nothing like you… You’re perfectly fine. Probably a bit run down, that’s all.

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Bethan Davidson and Helen Vella Taylor
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Bethan Davidson, Hollie Witton and Helen Vella Taylor
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Helen Vella Taylor, Hollie Witton and Bethan Davidson
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Xanthe Burdett, Hollie Witton, Bethan Davidson and Helen Vella Taylor
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Benedict Flett and Bethan Davidson
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Benedict Flett and Bethan Davidson

I’m free of you all now, you see. All of you. You with your prim little, frigid little, narrow-minded little meanness. And that priggish brat who’s ashamed of me. Who’d faint at the sight of a pair of tits.

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Benedict Flett and Bethan Davidson
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Louisa Keight, Bethan Davidson, Helen Vella Taylor and Carine Valarche
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Hollie Witton, Helen Vella Taylor, Bethan Davidson and Xanthe Burdett
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Xanthe Burdett

Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to propose a toast to the woman who is not simply the most important person in my life – but I suspect, is the most important person in all our lives…

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Joe Pieri, Louisa Keight, Hollie Witton, Bethan Davidson, Carine Valarche
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Bethan Davidson

Reviews: Varsity (4.5/5), The Tab (5/5)

For more theatre photos see the theatre category on the blog.

Cast
Susan – Bethan Davidson
Bill – Helen Vella Taylor
Andy – Xanthe Burdett
Lucy – Hollie Witton
Gerald – Benedict Flett
Rick – Joe Pieri
Tony – Carine Valarche
Muriel – Louisa Keight

Production Team
Director – Eva O’Flynn
Assistant Director – Alice Attlee, Elinor Lipman
Producer – Louisa Keight
Associate Producer – Katurah Morrish
Photographer – Johannes Hjorth

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