The Abbey Theatre Club’s latest production has just about everything - comedy, sex, gender equality, banshees and Daniel O’Donnell!
Written by Marie Jones ‘Women on the verge of HRT’ does not pull its punches when it comes to the awkward topics of middle age, failing marriages and barren sex lives.
It follows two pals, Anna (Carol Bruce) and Vera (Linsey McDonald) who have travelled from Belfast to Donegal to see their revered idol Daniel O’Donnell in concert.
After the show (and more than one round of vodkas) the pair fall into discussing their woes. Vera’s deep-seated resentment of her ex-husband and his new life and Anna’s increasingly apparent dissatisfaction with her own seemingly ‘normal’ situation.
Linsey McDonald is in barnstorming form as the spurned fire-cracker Vera, her foul-mouthed rants against the unfairness of life are often hilarious as well as on-the-nose.
Carol Bruce plays the downtrodden Anna to perfection, developing from the meek Daniel O’Donnell fan blind to her situation to someone with both eyes open and prepared to do something about her failing marriage.
Special mention must go to Alan Christison who plays Fergal the waiter with an entertaining mix of otherworldliness and mischief, and his surprise turns in the second act have to be seen to be believed.
Director-producer Cath Eddie has chosen well in her small cast, the sheer volume of lines and their delivery is tackled with ease and panache by the three performers and emotions are kept at a high pitch throughout.
We must not forget the singing, there are several numbers throughout which are all well sung and add a touch of whimsy to proceedings with help from accompanist Neil Martin.
The stage is also very simply, but effectively laid out, the stage crew again doing a good job of turning the small Abbey stage to whatever they need.
The Monday night performance was virtually full, and we hope this is indicative of ticket sales for the whole week as this poignant, funny and at times fantastical play deserves to do well.
‘Women on the verge of HRT’ runs until tomorrow (Saturday) at the Abbey Theatre, Abbot Street, Arbroath, curtains up at 7.30pm, tickets are £7 from VisitScotland on 01241 872609 or at www.theabbeytheatre.org