Marguerite Valentine

Marguerite Valentine

Books for the Psychologically Minded

Review ‘Right Now’ Ustinov Theatre Bath’ 19.3.16

I wasn’t prepared, I’d read no reviews and I knew nothing about this play other than I’d been told it was about to transfer to the West End and was written by a French Canadian. Relevant? I think not. Five characters; a wife, a husband, two neighbours also a wife and husband, but older and with an adult son with a nervous facial tic.

The relationships are bizarre and the characters perform a complex psychological but unlikely dance. Has the writer read Freud or some other analytic writing? Maybe or maybe not, but the actions and dialogue at some level make a kind of crazy sense.

We start with the young wife, tortured by her baby’s cries, a husband who isn’t interested in sex, the intrusive neighbours who want to help, the son desperate¬† with zilch social skills wanting to escape from his crazy parents. We end with the young husband swopping roles with the inadaquate son and he, starved of sex moving in with the young wife. It’s a win-win situation. The intrusive mother having a new [adult baby] the young husband finding a mother [the neighbour] and the young wife finding a sex starved lover [the son]

So what holds it together? In two words-desire and loss, mediated¬† through the memories of mother and a baby but enough, I don’t want to spoil the ending.

Dialogue is brilliant, acting superb, if shouty, and unlike ‘Abigail’s Party’ to which it may be compared, all are either psychotic or on some mood altering medication, self or professionally prescribed.

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