Review: Yet Tell My Name Again To Me


*** This piece of new writing comes from the pen of director Helen McCabe. It’s a thoughtful piece of drama about the relationship between John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor, which was complicated by the fact that Harriet was married. Mill, Harriet and her husband John are all acted with sensitivity and the dynamics in this love triangle are well portrayed.It is hard to reawaken characters like John Stuart Mill, known for his long debates transcribed onto dusty pages. His legacy in liberalism and feminism also make him notorious. In writing this play, Mc- Cabe has done well in conjuring up the ghosts of real and interesting figures, although one feels she is limited by a (commendable) desire to stick to what history tells us really happened, instead of taking risks with the past.The play relies excessively on poetry and debate; there is not enough drama. The arguments that feature heavily about the position of married women are no longer relevant to modern society. This kind of debate, name-dropping of contemporary political characters, and poetry read aloud weighs down the play and sometimes makes it slow-paced. Despite its thoughtful script and excellent acting, the questions asked in the play are not hard-hitting or relevant enough for a modern audience, and the play feels heavy as a result.By Elen Griffiths


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