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Hairspray (Tour – Liverpool)

Of Women and Horses I Have Known

By • Scotland
WOS Rating:
Underbelly
5-29 August, 20.40

Susanna Hislop’s Grandmother was quite the formidable figure. A crazy gin-swilling, speed-addled horse-breeder, Jean Hislop certainly seemed the type to rage against the dying of the light. In writing Of Women and Horses I Have Known - as well as playing the role of her Gran – she raises Jean from the ashes, recreating her relative out of memories, memoirs and make up.

At times the piece is deeply poignant; in one instance, Hislop acts the part of her Grandmother telephoning her Granddaughter, a truly heart-warming if surreal moment where Hislop is actually talking to herself. She is supported by a fantastically versatile cast who really bring the Hislop family to life - Robin Beer (Ian), Richard Crawley (John) and Cecilia Madanes (as a delightfully decrepit Mrs Bankier) give particularly noteworthy performances. This show is both fun and thoughtful – and there are some wonderful horse impressions to boot.

- Miranda Fay Thomas


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