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.
‘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’
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…
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…
There are all sorts of games we can play, you see. With our minds.
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.
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.
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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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
Director – Eva O’Flynn
Assistant Director – Alice Attlee, Elinor Lipman
Producer – Louisa Keight
Associate Producer – Katurah Morrish
Photographer – Johannes Hjorth