by Kate Atkinson
Directed by Debbie Taylor at The Jersey Arts Centre, 16th to 19th May 2017
JEP REVIEW “MOVING PRODUCTION THAT FIZZES WITH DARK HUMOUR”
“Abortion, adultery & assault are just come of the themes explored in the JADC’s stunning production of Abandonment”.
“all of the actors are comfortable in their roles – testament to some fine work by director Debbie Taylor during months of rehearsal”
“Claire Brazenall and Laura Hill are both superb as the bickering sisters….Maureen Bourniquel equally so as their prim but powerful mother….Julie Allen gives a strong performance as Susie……Terry Butler enjoys his role as the gloriously optimistic but simple Callum….David Scott is commanding in two parts – as Elizabeths love interest, Alex, and also as Victorian Lawyer, Merric….Sue Chipperfield’s turn as the passionate Lavender, Kelly Box’s sinister interpretation of the betrayed Laetitia, Christine Haggar’s funny role as Gertie, the daft maid. The heart of this play lies with the doomed character of the Victorian governess, Agnes, however, and Jennie Crocker captures wonderfully her aspiration, wit and fragility. Her ghostly. spot-lit addresses to the audience were charismatic and haunting.”
“A lot of time and effort had obviously gone into the set and costumes too – which helped to persuade the audience that we were either in the Victorian era or the present day, often with a few tweaks to the furniture or the removal of a waistcoat.”
“This is an opportunity to see a local drama company on top form for a moving, thought-provoking play that will make you think about the big questions in life – as well as some of the smaller ones.”
As Kate Atkinson is one of my favourite authors, I was delighted when she published her first play, Abandonment in 2000. I found it an absorbing, witty read, and am very pleased to be able to bring it to the Jersey Art Centre stage for the JADC.
It is a play with many themes – of abandonment in its various forms, of the passage of time and the influence of the past, the importance of light or the lack of it, of women’s place in society and how it has evolved – themes conveyed through clever writing with humour and empathy. The action takes place in the living room of a flat in a Victorian mansion, one that echoes with the lives of its previous occupants. I have designed the set to reinforce this fluidity, so that the present and the past have no solid walls to contain them.
I would like to thank my very talented cast who have worked hard in rehearsals over many months to portray characters with real depth. My thanks also go to my production team for working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that the set, costumes, props and lighting are all first class. A special thanks goes to Andrew Pallot for creating the video of words that you will see during scene changes.
Finally, my thanks go to you for coming to the theatre to see Abandonment tonight. The JADC is keen to continue to produce quality drama in all its forms. Your attendance helps us to be able to do so.
ABOUT THE PLAY
Abandonment is a play about love, death, identity and evolution, a complex mix of social comedy and family drama, reminding us that the past is not as far away as we think. It tells the story of Elizabeth, childless, recently separated, who wants to be alone. She moves in to a new flat where she is besieged by visitors – her best friend, her sister, their mother, the builder and a photographer – but also by a visitor from the past.
Kate Atkinson is one of the UK’s most popular, internationally acclaimed novelists. Abandonment is her first play and was first published in 2000.