Edinburgh Fringe 2015
As the new millennium approaches, a young woman becomes the caretaker of Mrs. A., an elderly woman who is forgotten and isolated from her family. She makes an unlikely connection with her elderly charge and discovers the secret of her recent trauma which in turn, turns her life upside down.
Christmas, 1999. On the verge of the new millennium, a young woman becomes the caretaker of Mrs. A., an elderly woman who has come to live with her daughter in the wake of a burglary. But the family already have their millennium planned and Mrs A doesn’t want to jet off to the sun with them so the young woman is employed to care for her. As the New Year approaches, she makes an unlikely connection with her elderly charge and discovers the secret of her recent trauma, a secret that shocks her to the core and lies behind Mrs A’s very clear decision about what she plans for the Millennium.
In this solo show Amy Molloy gives a powerful and compelling performance as the young woman. She engages immediately with the audience and creates other characters with ease. Gina Moxley’s script gradually reveals both Mrs A’s story and something of the young woman’s past as they forge an unlikely bond. There are lots of delightful lines, the kind of tiny detail that sum up a person or situation in a phrase. However, I wanted to know more about the young woman – why she was so affected by Mrs A’s story, what were the resonances in her own past? The links to her own mother? The reasons she is where she is when the play starts?
The space is intimate with seating on two sides so the audience feels connected to the story as it unfolds. The set comprises a rather functional desk and chair with a plastic glass of water which created a degree of dissonance for me as it seemed out of keeping with the Homes and Gardens residence of Mrs A’s daughter. Molloy feels rather tethered to the desk and never takes her coat off – it made sense at the end once we realise where she is but seemed it odd at the start. Why the plastic glass of water, why the broken china? I felt that some initial establishing of place and situation could be achieved without any giving away of the story and would free her up to make more use of the space.
However, despite these questions this is a thought provoking play delivered with passion. If you love solo theatre this one will absorb you and leave you thinking.