Old Red Lion Theatre
Reviewed – 7th April 2019
“an enlightening foray into the allotment of life”
Bath based theatre company, A Word In Your Ear brings an inspired, real life look into the world of two women innocently matchmaking for their adult children. Although the writing (Clare Reddaway) was quite on the nose at times, this episodic retelling is both heartachingly moving and delightfully comic.
Michelle Wen Lee and Sarah Curwen give compassionate performances that let the audience peer into their lives in Shanghai. As both wives and mothers, their stories have been affected by China’s one child policy and so some eye-opening and heart-wrenching memories are narrated to us with seasoned storytelling.
With no set and very little use of props, both Curwen and Wen Lee transform into a number of characters that feature in each of the women’s lives, from a harsh mother-in-law to a forward-thinking “leftover” daughter. Direction from Bryn Holding is both considered and effective. Yet, similar to the way the audience is fed certain information in the writing, there were a few obvious and demonstrative moments that felt unoriginal despite perhaps having intended to shock the audience at the sheer pain of those very real memories.
What is really refreshing is to observe these women matchmaking for their children. Although to our western lifestyle that seems absurd and controlling, it is shown here as purely an act of love and protection with the intent of ensuring secure and healthy relationships for their offspring. What a pleasant contrast to our own modern, vain, ‘swipe right’ hook-up culture.
Little Potatoes is an enlightening foray into the allotment of life. The emotional events covered in this hour long piece plant the seeds of political and cultural curiosity, sprouting the questions we ask ourselves as people and as a community; what is family? What is more important than family? And how far would you go to serve your country?
Reviewed by Vivienne King
Photography courtesy A Word In Your Ear Productions
Old Red Lion Theatre
Last ten shows reviewed at this venue: