This ingenious adaptation is a fabulous, exhilarating slapstick romp combining theatrical invention and wonderfully comic performances.
Serena Manteghi is currently playing the role of Rosie in My Mother Said I Never Should opposite national treasure, Maureen Lipman. I caught up with Rosie to ask her about this well-known play and what her future career aspirations are. My Mother Said continues at London’s St James Theatre until 21 May 2016.
These women that playwright Charlotte Keatley created are passionate, feisty and reflect society’s views of women from the 1930s through the 1980s. Though there’s been inevitable progress in women’s rights, Keatley’s script shows how agonisingly slow it’s been. Excellent performances by the ensemble cast of four and a decade-spanning politically commentary make My Mother Said I Never Should a relevant, fun and poignant production that, even though written in the 1980s, still holds important messages about womanhood.
This is a return to grand form for Lipman whose natural comic timing is best deployed undercutting the more strident statements and hinting at the unvoiced disappointments of marital life. She still needs a director brave enough to tell her that Manchester isn’t in the East Riding of Yorkshire and to drag her accent from native Hull to the other end of the M62, but it’s a finely detailed performance across a swathe of the century from tutoring piano lessons as a tetchy wartime martinet to the abandon of popping off her pop socks in an eighties Oldham garden.
Spirited revival of the 1980s feminist classic is a bit too shrill, yet also quietly moving when it matters.
A story of four generations of strong women, an exploration into the meaning of family, being a mother, a child, sister and grandmother. Do we learn from the mistakes we or others make or is it a series of conscious decisions influenced by the childhood we’ve had that shape us as adults.
Paul Robinson directs with sensitivity as Simon Slater’s sound and music enhance proceedings, with the production marking an impressive debut by producers Tiny Fires. Go see this play – the acting is sensational.
Say, first of all, that Maureen Lipman was born to play Doris, the Lancashire matriarch at the heart of Charlotte Keatley’s modern classic. In this revival she never misses a beat: without overdoing it Lipman can convulse an audience with a mere word (“Polytechnic” “End Terrace” ), or silence our breathing with a wrenching, gentle monologue expressing a hidden life.
National treasure Maureen Lipman (Oklahoma, Outside Edge, See How They Run) and Olivier-award winning Katie Brayben (Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, King Charles III, American Psycho) will lead the cast in Charlotte Keatley’s My Mother Said I Never Should. They will be joined by Caroline Faber (The Taming of the Shrew, The Heiress, Hangover Square) and Serena Manteghi (The Railway Children). Presented by Tiny Fires Ltd, this is the first London revival of the play in over 25 years.