Sheffield’s Lantern Theatre
THREE children’s swings dominate the otherwise empty stage. The lights dim and when they come up again three women are sitting on them to deliver intertwined monologues.
Their lives are linked, not that they know, by the same man, Royce, at first a bit of a lad, later a thuggish brute.
For one, he is the boy who chased her pal to his death over a quarry cliff. For the second, he is the one who makes her pregnant at 18 and disowns the child. The third he marries and imprisons in an abusive relationship.
This revival of an early work by Doncaster playwright Richard Cameron, set in a gritty South Yorkshire town, is powerful stuff.
While some of the language is a little ornate – he wrote it for the National Student Drama Festival in 1990 - the audience’s attention is gripped as the story, seen from different perspectives, unfolds.
It’s an all too familiar tale of the failure of relationships and the inequalities in power between men and women.
You won’t find many laughs, apart from the line: “I’d given him a bag of pasties and a baby,” but the drama is resolved almost like a morality play. Indeed, religion is a theme.
It’s the second professional production at this bijou Nether Edge theatre, directed by artistic director Ruth Carney. It is impressively acted by Laura Hobson, Carla Harrison-Hodge and Samantha Robinson.
The play runs until Saturday.