Tristan Bates Theatre – until 26 October 2019
Guest reviewer: Elizabeth J Smith
Mites is a dark comedy exploring the mind of a troubled and lonely woman, Ruth. We find her living in the large house she once shared with her husband. Who we learn was a womaniser and control freak who went out one day and never came back or did he?
As the condition of the house deteriorates, with an infestation of dust mites, so does Ruth’s mental stability. In a bid to regain her house, and hopefully her mind, she employ’s a young pest controller, Ken, who instantly evokes memories of her missing husband, Kenneth. Ken realises the vulnerability of Ruth’s mind and see’s an opportunity to gain more than his paid services. Enter Ruth’s cat, who resembles an older chap, he denigrates and criticises Ruth relentlessly. How can poor Ruth over come these two manipulative men, who very much have their own agenda or is this all in her mind while she languishes in her hospital room? With a twist of fate can Ruth come through triumphantly?
We meet a family of dust mites watching the comings and goings of poor Ruth’s life like a soap opera, while dealing with their own issues of every day living. An over bering husband, small whiny child and a wife who wants to fulfil her dreams before her life ends.
Congratulations to James Mannin for writing a very thought provoking piece, perhaps raising more questions of mental health and how some may try to take advantage of the sufferer.
Claire Marie Hall, Ruth, gives a magnificent performance of a downtrodden women hoping for a better way. She has so much to say, it could have been a monologue. She encapsulates the mannerisms of a women in turmoil, you want her to triumph over her two tormentors.
George Howard, Ken, portrayed a devious chancer, with great expressions and physical presence. Richard Henderson, Bartholomew, well done, I left the theatre disliking your character immensely.
A production with themes of mental health, paranoia and manipulation doesn’t sound like a fun night out, but the humour seeps through. You sympathise with Ruth and hope she gets better while wishing only bad things on the men.
An extremely well acted, funny piece, that get’s you thinking. A must see.