Going Potty

Kate Wyvill
Sanity Productions Unlimited
New End Theatre
(2007)

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Being a mother is not an easy task. In fact it is a very tough job, as most mothers will tell you. Mothers' Day may provide a token appreciation from demanding offspring. Kate Wyvill, the author and a performer of this play, hammers in the desperation and frustration experienced by a mother

She locks herself in the 'walk-in wardrobe' equipped with an Ipod, to block external sounds of the winging kids and inconsiderate husband, coffee machine, and a lunch box. In short, she is well prepared for a picnic in the wardrobe of folded shirts as well as shirts on hangers, and lots of woman's shoes which are mainly placed in purple-pink shoeboxes.

We hear the children's screaming and calling for 'mum' and then her husband, Robert (Simon Greenway) comes in, busily trying to groom himself, before leaving for the office.

He knocks on the wardrobe door trying to get in. The screaming match between the husband and wife reveals some of her frustrations. He has 75 shirts and the ironing lady was fed up with ironing so many shirts so she had gone berserk and torn some of them, she accuses him of spending too much time in the office and even raises her suspicion that he is having an affair with Sally. He tries to reassure her that he is just working hard to provide her with the standard of living she takes for granted.

The dialogue is not convincing and filled with clichés. Surely having a walk-in wardrobe and an ironing lady, the wife would have a cleaning lady? The sympathy for her frustrations evaporates as it is clear that she is rather a privileged housewife. The verbal exchanges are dull and tedious and the humour pedestrian and tiresome.

The second scene takes place in the office where Wyvill acts the devoted secretary, Sally. This scene redeems, for a brief while, the first domestic encounter.

This play may have been meant to be funny but the humour palls in the banality of the communication between the couple. The acting by both Wyvill and Greenway is satisfactory but the unchallenging text makes one feels like a long yawn.

Runs until 1st April.

Reviewer: Rivka Jacobson