The Old Library (venue)
06 April 2017 (released)
11 April 2017
Based on Leonora Carrington’s 1976 novel, 'The Hearing Trumpet' depicts the confusing and unsettling world of 92-year old Marian entering a retirement home.
Any 'ordinary' expectations are confounded in the opening scene, where we meet Marian who is represented by a bunch of twigs. Her adult children are cleaning and scrubbing her, treating her with total disinterest and discussing sending her to a retirement home. This scene highlights Marian’s loss of self (portrayed as an inanimate object) and a harsh portrayal of being treated as a burden. It draws the audience in and sets a dream-like tone for the rest of the play.
The audience move into another area to follow Marian's move from her home into the retirement home. Making inventive use of rags, papier-mache and cardboard the space is filled with extraordinary creations, fascinating masks, overlooked by the portrait of a winking nun.
A rich array of crazy characters take to the stage, sometimes outstaying their welcome with lengthy monologues, but each with plenty of energy and enthusiasm. Some of the performances are captivating - Benedict Hopper as the hilariously patronising nurse and Lizzie Clarke as a chatty, excitable resident.
The play hints at a dark and desperate storyline, but serious meaning is somewhat lost in the action and many moving parts of this production. Overall, an intriguing play with perhaps one too many distractions.
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