I wasn't sure what to expect of this play, especially as the last 'one-man' show I saw was Peter Ustinov in Conversation 10 years or so ago. After the first 10 minutes I was interested, but wondering how long the central character would stay at the age of about six - watching adults pretending to be children can be nauseating. Luckily this is probably the best performance of that kind you've seen, especially as the girl stays that age for the majority of the play. After another half an hour I was captivated, and the usual suspicion that audiences greet more unusual offerings with faded away. There was noticeably a point where the audience laughed together, and you knew then that we were all as caught up as each other. It's hard to imagine seeing a more committed performance, and it didn't over-stay its welcome either, ending at the time that the audience began to get slightly shifty. Criticism could be levelled at the two sudden jumps in time in the story, which though important could perhaps have been handled better, particularly the first one of about 10 years. Well worth checking out if you want to learn more about the contradictions of living in that place at that time, and also purely to watch an extraordinary performance. Mark Shenton's comments about it being rather too slick may be true, but the positive side is that the evening flows beautifully, and the characterisations never short of perfect. Judging by the standing ovation and the people in tears many of my fellow audience members also found much to relate to. - USER: Whatsonstage.com
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