Where: Outer London
10 March 2004 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews Mrs Chevalier is very old, very rich and very lonely. Her daughter won’t let her see her granddaughter, Amelie but has sent a maid - Joelle - to wait on her and keep her company of an evening. One night, when Joelle’s daughter comes to the flat, Mrs Chevalier mistakes her for her granddaughter, and so the tale begins.
was written – originally in French – by 3 Women Catherine Anne and Solvene Tiffou’s translation avoids the pitfalls of such a task to present a clean, funny and occasionally touching script.
As Mrs Chevalier and Joelle
Ann Firbank and Marcia Warren excel. A brilliant comic duo, they are clearly old hands at this, and very comfortable in front of an audience, even if things don’t go as smoothly as they should.
Camilla Rutherford - as Joelle’s down on her luck daughter - who proves the weak link. Despite being easy on the eyes, her lack of stage experience is all too evident (especially next to these two veterans). Her inability to mould and shape the text means every word she utters sounds scripted. In fairness, director Marianne Badrichani seems to have instructed her to play the part as a tomboy and Rutherford never appears comfortable or convincing as such.
Although this play is sentimental in many ways, it is also an astute questioning of class as an accident of birth. So
Julie Marabelle’s set is a missed opportunity. Where it could and should use the two playing spaces which represent the two women's homes to accentuate the differences in their lives and opportunities as restricted by their class, it is simply functional. There is very little to suggest that the two areas are not in the same house.
Overall the production seems out of kilter, the directorial vision somewhat misguided to my mind. But two fantastic performances from Firbank and Warren make one unable to dismiss
completely. 3 Women
- Hannah Kennedy
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