Monday, October 30, 2006

Bonfire Tour, Day Eleven: Lewes, East Sussex

Day Eleven, Saturday October 28
Coffee at the Riverside watching all of Lewes stroll by it seems. Brief visit to the "Coffee Morning" held as a fund raiser for the South Street Bonfire Society at the British Legion. Browse around the shops and meet hubby at The Brewer's Arms, 91 High Street for lunch - very tasty Broccoli Mornay.
To Pelham House for the Lewes Live Literature Festival for which I have tickets for four events. The first is poetry reading: The Wounded Deer, Fourteen Poems After Frida Kahlo by Pascale Petit; The Terrorist at My Table, poetry and ink line drawings by Imtiaz Dharker. Both readings are compelling in their own ways and are accompanied by powerpoint slide shows.

In the evening I return to Pelham House for "Mortal Ladies Possesed" a one woman show starring Linda Marlow. Through the voices of various women the life of the widow Holly, proprietress of a New Orleans flop house emerges. In a word, Marlow's performance was spellbinding. Edinburgh Festival review by Thom Dibdin:
"LINDA MARLOW proves her brilliance as an actress in this one-hander based on the women who people Tennessee Williams' short stories. Too brilliant for her own good at times, in what is a sparkling but not quite sustained romp.
Marlow's supreme ability is to create a complete character in the briefest of moments and with the least amount of effort. As the dying Widow Holly, she remembers the women who have stayed in her New Orleans boarding house and cuts effortlessly between them, taking the story off to high society functions and bordellos with equal ease.
It's highly watchable stuff. Until she turns into a bitchy millionairess, living out her 80s on the Mediterranean, who removes her tiny swimsuit in front of a hunky young artist and parades about naked. It must be stressed that Marlow is fully clothed throughout the show, but the image she conjures up of this leathery old crone is so vivid that you can not help but see her. And shudder.
The real problem of the production, however, is that it simply does not hang together. As a patchwork of characters it is sublime, but without a sustaining plot it is no more than that: a patchwork. "

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