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Deidre & Me (Salford)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Rachael Halliwell’s first play, Deidre and Me is a one-hander featuring Rachael herself as the tragic yet laughable Susan.

Susan isn’t a loner in the true sense of the word. She mixes with other people at work, only to be taunted by them. So, she likes to be by herself and eventually doesn’t bother to go.

But she isn’t alone. She has become so obsessed by Coronation Street’s Deidre Barlow that she thinks of her as a friend and the gradual blurring of reality and fiction leads to a tragic conclusion.

The decline of Susan is both well described and well performed. It is an insidious process that gradually takes hold and is fascinating to watch.

Rachael has the knack of taking us into the mind of Susan so that we almost see how it works. But not quite – which explains the unexpected ending.

The cluttered set with the cock-eyed standard lamp is a shrine to Deidre Barlow. But where is the TV? Surely, in a play that is about a TV character, it should be centre stage!

- Julia Taylor


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