It’s the ultimate dilemma for the indecisive: two women,
attractive, intelligent, devoted. One’s your wife, the
other’s your mistress, but really there is little to choose
between them. Adultery is a common theme, but there’s a
peculiar openness about this love-triangle that makes it even
more complicated. Everyone knows about everyone else, and consequently spends
their time trying to convince themselves, and each other, to
change. The women are desperately trying to believe he’ll
leave her, the man that one of them will leave him – or at
least just leave him alone. It’s difficult to care much about the hapless Mickey, who
seems more the pathetic victim of female competition than a
scheming adulterer, while Linda is the most frustrating. As it
becomes obvious that Mickey prefers the feisty Jenine, we really
want to tell her to send him packing, to get a new man and a
haircut. But you can’t help but feel sorry for the woman who
has clearly lost all self-respect, unashamedly begging her
husband not to leave. Yet by the end of the play it still hasn’t happened. The
women are still engaging in bitchy, jealous dialogue, inevitably
reaching stalemate with their apathetic lover who refuses to
express a preference either way. The production carries off the tension and complexity of the
situation quite successfully, and there is some impressive acting
from the lead actors, particularly Hannah Glickstein as the sexy,
tormented Jenine. However, it is an uncomfortable play to sit
through, particularly towards the end, and some of the cast seem
to struggle with Motton’s progressively black humour. One of
the final scenes raises a decidedly queasy smile as the couple
stumble upon the mistress sitting by a lake, literally
‘washing her heart’. AKM’s is an original, if patchy production, which is
funny enough not to fall apart under its own awkwardness.ARCHIVE: 5th week TT 2004