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Belgrade B2 Theatre review: Mademoiselle F

Mademoiselle F, Belgrade, B2 Studio, Oct 4 - 8.

by Barbara Goulden Alternative theatre is being brought to new heights of intensity in the Belgrade's smaller B2 theatre with this uncomfortable play about the first person to be officially diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) at an asylum in Paris in1838. Miriam Edwards plays the title role of Mademoiselle F, the desperate patient who eventually has to confront the future world of mobile phones which will lead to so many more of us developing the same condition. This 70-minute tour-de-force is not for the faint-hearted and also takes a strong environmental protection swipe against the wasteful use of hot-tubs and the exploitative practices of tee-shirt manufacturing. Oh yes, and there's a nurse, who's also sometimes a polar bear. Tyrone Huggins exchanges confidences with his patient, leaving a strong message that all animals kept in confinement will develop unnatural anxieties. Playwright Vanessa Oakes is an Associate of Theatre Absolute where I first saw part of this powerful play. Frankly it's strange and wasn't entirely sure I got the many messages. But there is no doubting the brilliance and total credibility of its two-strong cast. Part of the accopanying music came from an alum entited "Above Our Heads the Sky Splits Open" by Steve Harris Zaum Meanwhile in the main auditorium next door, audiences were joyously doing "the time warp again" in the latest revival of The Rocky Horror Show. I'd by lying if I didn't say part of me wished I'd been with them. Reality hurts.


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