Theatre: The Year Of Magical Thinking



Saturday night I finally caught up with The Year of Magical Thinking which has been playing since April at the National Theatre. Featuring Vanessa Redgrave on a chair, it tells the story of American author Joan Didion and how over a year she lost both her husband and her daughter and the process she went through in dealing with it (or more to the point not dealing with it). The play is based on her book however it exapnds the story to include the loss of her daughter as well. There is such a frank honesty to this story that even with the subject matter you can't help but be drawn into it. Perhaps it is the way it constantly asks the audience to reflect on this story as it will happen to all of us: the details will be different but the end result is the same. It was certainly was a novel way of reminding us all about our own mortality and how dealing with it is part of life.

Perhaps the subject matter (people die), the fact that it was the bank holiday weekend and people may not be up for death, or the dire state of the economy forcing people to cut back on trips to the theatre were reasons behind why the theatre wasn't very full. But for those of us there to see Redgrave's performance, we were all very grateful. A production that once it finishes its run at the National will no doubt continue to tour. And yet another enjoyable monologue to see in London this summer.

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