Talking to Angie
Ronnie Dorsey Productions
Talking to Angie ought to be a soul-crushingly depressing short play as it concerns poverty, an unhappy marriage and the early death of a child.
Certainly, the opening of the monologue sets a grim scene: Rita (author and sole performer Ronnie Dorsey) sits slumped on the stairs ignoring the Christmas lights and looking like a puppet whose strings have been cut. Rita has just returned from the funeral of her lifelong friend Angie whose life, recalls Rita, was hardly a bed of roses.
Dorsey never raises her eyes through the entire monologue and gives the impression of being worn down not just by grief but by a grindingly difficult life. Yet although the story never takes a cheerful turn, there is the glimmer of hope as Rita recalls how society has developed for the better in certain ways.
Rita and Angie were of a generation and possibly a social class where same-sex relationships were never acknowledged in anything other than a hateful, dismissive manner. There is the sense the couple finally achieved a kind of peace when, late in life, they were able to form a relationship. "It was as it always should have been," sighs Rita.
Despite the dour experiences of the couple, the atmosphere of Talking to Angie is one of regret mixed with gratitude and acceptance.
Reviewer: David Cunningham