Tuesday, October 3

Before The Drugs Kick In – The Space @ Surgeon’s Hall

‘Three months ago I cut my wrists in front of my two children.’

No, this wasn’t an easy watch.

Maria DeCotis plays 62-year-old Lynn T Walsh, a woman deemed a danger to those around her, isolated from her family for 20 years in a mental asylum in America. She’s given very little help but lots of ‘medicine’. Pretty much treated as a criminal, she points out the ridiculous double-standards at work given the behaviour of certain well-known film and TV people. Her ‘crime’; an almost subconscious emotional reaction to the stresses associated with bringing up a family more or less singlehandedly in a suburban setting where the simple act of going out for a walk attracts the wrong sort of comments.

Incarcerated she may be but in her mind she becomes a 28-year-old stand-up and humorous passages interweave with relapses to the day in November 1998 when she’d waited all day hoping her boys might visit as the youngest had a birthday. She’d never missed his birthday yet. It’s tragic, sad and if it doesn’t make one angry then Lynn certainly becomes so on our behalf.

But did this piece work? The audience only really seemed to ‘click to’ with the arrival on stage at the end of the writer (Mike Lemme) who, it turns out, was one of the children in the story. Overall, it felt more like a lecture from a particularly fierce tutor who you’d dare not disagree with, delivered as if it was news… Ken Kesey published One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest in 1962.

Reviewer: Roger Jacobs

Reviewed: 8th August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.