Wednesday, September 28

Tag: Kate O'Brien

Distinguished Villa – Finborough Theatre
London

Distinguished Villa – Finborough Theatre

"Refined" is the word around which Kate O'Brien's 1926 play hinges. Mabel Hemworth is unrelenting in her control of her immaculately cleaned suburban home and her downtrodden husband, Natty. A woman claiming permanent illness and anxiety, frigid and childless, she is constantly on edge and desperate not to attract the negative judgement of the neighbours on their quiet avenue in Brixton. Even her husband's singing along to a record she regards as outrageous due to what she considers to be racy lyrics. She has also ruled over the life of her sister, Gwen, a young woman seeking escape from this situation through marriage to the unremarkable John. Mabel represents the tied-down morals of the Victorian era, with even vague references to "issues of the night" causing her to have a fit of the v...