Sunday, June 17, 2012

Society's Pound of Flesh: Mary Shelley by Helen Edmundson at the Tricycle, Kilburn

I saw this excellent production at the Tricyle last Thursday but felt the evening was  jinxed.

For a start , the Ticycle isn't exactly round the corner from Lewisham and the weather was typical of what we've been having lately. So I wasn't too pleased to be told my name wasn't on the press list. If I'd been alone I'd have gone home and watched a recording of Vera. However, my companion was keen and the theatre people were apologetic and happy to squeeze us in.

Like most fringe theatres the Tricycle has unallocated seating and I cast resentful glances at   'press reserved'  labels from my upholstered bench on the very back row of the upstairs section. It's unusual for a fringe theatre to  an 'upstairs' at all, but going by the crowds at the Tricycle they have no trouble filling it.

It wasn't a brightly-lit play;  most of the indoor scenes were gloomy rooms above a bookshop where Mary's family jostled for space. The rest weren't much different:  a graveside; a stormy sea-crossing; a garret in Switzerland.

Anyway, there I was, thankful that I'd learned the technique of writing in the dark years ago on a  BFI film course -you use a flip notebook and your left thumb as a guide to write your way down the page. All very well until the  interval, when I discovered my pen had run out of ink about two pages into the play!

Two glasses of excellent wine in the interval and my partner's  spare pencil helped the second half along.  The programme included a complete copy of the text, so I  wasn't too much affected by the blank pages in my notebook.

It appears on  The Public Reviews website

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