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Two Ladies: A Somewhat Unbelievable New Play by Nancy Harris premieres at the Bridge Theatre

They claim this play is a work of fiction, but you can’t help but draw the obvious comparisons to the current First Ladies of America and France.

Set amidst a fictional summit, this play must be considered as a political statement on a very real, and current, situation.

The play is only on for a very short run at the Bridge Theatre, between London’s Tower Bridge and City Hall, and stars Zoe Wanamaker and Zrinka Cvitesic in the leading roles.

Wanamaker plays Helen, First Lady of France – notably older than her Presidential husband (read: Macron). Cvitesic – the undoubted star of the show – presents an Eastern European wife of America’s President (read: Trump).

The characters don’t stray far from the real world. Nancy Harris‘ play, however, attempts to delve into the emotional trials of the First Ladies’ situations – politically and personally. However, it is in many ways a little far-fetched and trite.

Directed by Nicholas Hytner – co-founder of the Bridge Theatre, and former Director of the National Theatre – “Two Ladies” simultaneously unites and divides the two ladies, who are locked in a hotel conference room for the duration of the one-act play.

Do the ladies have more in common with each other than with their powerful husbands? do they, in truth, have more in common with the people out on the street than they do with their husbands?

The set, which I always like to consider, was simple and unexciting. Designed by Anna Fleischle, it captures the corporate blandness of a hotel conference room.

I particularly enjoyed the lift lobby, which is partially obscured by frosted glass and the double doors to the room.

Hytner uses this space expertly to create authentic depth of scene, by having security personel constantly waiting outside the room – on-stage but off, in many ways these unscripted performers had just as challenging a role to play as the two title characters, with their 100 minutes of dialogue to perform.

The play asks many questions, and leaves all of them unanswered. A perfect play for you if you enjoy discussing your thoughts and ideas after the curtain has fallen.

Go with a friend who likes to muse over possibilities and ponder why and what if.

The World Premiere of Two Ladies opened at the Bridge Theatre on 25 September 2019 and closes on 26 October 2019.

Review overview

Overall Performance 7
Production Design 7.5
Theatre 9

Summary

7.8 front row score Despite the plotline veering ever-so-slightly to close to the absurd, this one-act political play makes for an enjoyable outing to the theatre. Zoe Wanamaker is good, but the real star of the show is her Croatian co-star Zrinka Cvitesic. Kudos to the silent ensemble who stay in character throughout, even though performing behind frosted glass for the majority of the play! Anna Fleischle's set is probably the most realistic part of this production and captures a bland corporate hotel conference room well. The Bridge Theatre is a purpose-built modern theatre right by Tower Bridge - the bar is very busy before the show and the sightlines in the auditorium are very good.

Tags : Anna FleischleBridge TheatreNicholas HytnerPoliticalZoe WanamakerZrinka Cvitesic
Daniel Edward

The author Daniel Edward

Daniel is a freelance writer and has previously worked in entertainment as a Cruise Director with Royal Caribbean. His main areas of interest are Theatre, Travel and Psychology.
Daniel produces the educational Psychology Unlocked YouTube channel for Secondary School and Undergraduate Students.

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