The Tamaritans, The Red House, 23rd – 26th October
The Tamaritans present ‘Cheshire Cats’, a heartfelt play with an insight into the laughter and sadness of real life. The Cheshire Cats are preparing to take part in the London Moonwalk and the story unfolds as they train and attend the event to raise money in aid of a cancer charity.
This highly topical script features wonderfully written monologues for each of the Cheshire Cats to give a glimpse into the events of their everyday lives or their experiences with cancer. Hilary played by Suzanne Macpherson gives an emotive speech about the loss of her Mum. The emotion and delivery by Suzanne gave me goosebumps and the writing by Gail Young is incredibly relatable.
By the end of the performance when Claire Hooper as Maggie gives a speech about their lives after the walk, the audience was completely stunned into silence – A true sign of the skill of this group of performers.
Although there were many sad moments, just as in life, there were plenty of laughs too. As Vicky (Rona Perry) and Maggie (Claire Hooper) warm up for their training session they introduced some fabulous physical comedy into their performance which is continued throughout the play.
This play takes place in a few different settings for which The Tamaritans used ingenious block staging. Their staging rotated to reveal different scenes including the park, the train station, and the streets of London. This excellent use of the props and staging made for a smooth performance.
This group of women all have different personalities so you are bound to recognise yourself or your friends in at least one of them, making this a great night out for the girls. However, it is also a meaningful family night out for many as this play gives the opportunity to explore a difficult topic with the humour and tears of real life.
Please note this performance does include the use of flashing lights.