BRACE yourselves for what is, in parts, a highly charged and emotional play.
I use the word ‘emotional’ but writer Charlotte Keetley doesn’t explicitly play on the audience’s emotions in what is my most memorable outing with director John Chidgey to date.
Of all the productions I’ve seen of his, this is his best to date. It’s evidently been nurtured with tender loving care, helped by a superb script that surely makes the piece, which premiered in Manchester in 1987, a modern day classic.
This is a play about life, love, sacrifice, guilt and of young women finding their feet and shaking off the shackles of tradition.
Chidgey must have thought Christmas had come early when he held the first rehearsal for this cast who give their all in their roles.
As Doris, Margaret, Jackie and Rosie, Margaret Leslie, Sarat Broughton, Kathryn Worthington and Meg Brassington are outstanding and I particularly enjoyed the convincing way in which Meg as Rosie “grows up” before our very eyes, making a very convincing transition from crabby teen to young woman with a burgeoning interest in social activism.
The play really gets going for me when Margaret comes to the rescue of her struggling daughter, Jackie, making a life changing decision so Jackie, in the pit of despair, can have a life.
My Mother Said takes place over 50 years, making it a truly epic and ambitious piece of theatre.
What I will say about this play is be prepared to listen, otherwise you’ll fail to get the full effect of what is for me, one of the most memorable theatrical experiences I’ve had for a long time.
Moving and warmly funny, this is a must see production. Outstanding.
Until October 19. The box office is on 0161 928 1677. Star rating - ****