Theatre Review: The Year of Magical Thinking

28 Apr

After sitting through 100 minutes of this monologue, I just realised it wasn’t for me, monologues I mean. I definitely won’t do them again, unless Simon Russell Beale did them. Sorry, got sidetracked there already. Going back to the subject of monologues, of course I knew that it was going to be a monologue even before I booked it. I had to deliberate it for a while but then I thought, well come on it’s Vanessa Redgrave, she’s a great actress, she’ll keep you focused. Well, did she? Not quite.

I realised that I just don’t have that tenacity nor attention span to sit through 100 minutes of just talking and reflecting. Should I have read Joan Didion’s memoir before seeing the production and maybe that would have changed things a bit? Maybe. Should I have drank 2 litres of Coke to keep me awake for the evening? Perhaps. I actually have been looking forward to this production because of Redgrave’s involvement in it, and the raving reviews it received on Broadway and the interesting subject of surviving grief and bereavement. I was hoping to have that attachment but I barely connected. I sort of blame the venue, the Lyttelton was just way too big for the speaker to connect to her audience. Perhaps a more intimate and smaller venue like the Cottesloe would have kept me interested, but I was gone after the first 30 minutes, and was doing my own magical thinking way before the curtain fell.

The Year of Magical Thinking: 2/5

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