We are happy few
Aside from clean parks and fine restaurants, London attracts theatre goers. I overdosed on musicals and plays on student discounts. After that, I became more selective.
Friday night I went to see the new play "We are Happy Few" in the Gielgud Theatre. It was about seven women who performed more than 1,000 shows of Shakespeare and revues all over England during the second world war.
I was impressed with the acting. Even more so, as a woman, I was inspired by the different reasons the women were single and productive.
One decided never to have children after she witnessed the suicide of her teenage brother on a night of the full moon.
Another decided never to marry after passing by an opportunity of a life time. She was too picky about something too small.
So what happens to women who don't get married and don't have children?
They have to be like men --- productive and producing.
They put on trousers and fake beards and spoke like men in the parts they played. They learned to fight with fake daggers and die the way men died.
Juliet Stevenson played the lead of Heti the director. She had to appear strong for her theatre company. Her own secret was revealed in the second half of this three hour play.
Kate O'Mara was excellent as the alcoholic mother and cynical actress past her sell-by-date. I've seen her before, as sister of Alexis Colby in the television series "Dynasty."
"All the world is a stage" and "we are happy few." Pity the play has a short season.
31 July 2004 Saturday