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Disharmony and no cuddly toy, but laughs aplenty at this generation game


3 Women, The Criterion Theatre, Earlsdon, Coventry, until July 3.


By Barbara Goulden

Sex. How desperately life-changing for an older generation; how virtually inconsequential to their "swipe right/swipe left" gender-fluid grandchildren.

Interestingly, in this new play by comedian Katy Brand, I don't think sex was the point....at least not to Suzanne, the mum-in-the-middle of the generation game, played with angry vulnerability by Ruth Herd.

It seems Suzanne has always been a disappointment to her stylish, discontented mother Eleanor - loved the bright orange blouse and matching boots.

Eleanor, played by Lilian Sykes, believes Suzanne threw away opportunities her age group never had and is now settling for a safe marriage at the age of 40.

Meanwhile there's nothing safe about the third generation of this dysfunctional family, Lauren, played by Chloe Hayward, who successfully merges bewilderment, disappointment and her desire for the head waiter (Charlotte Rawson) into a typical teenage mash-up with some eye-popping action.

Each woman has their own song; each woman makes the most of their moment in the spotlight in a poignant yet often humorous play that kept reminding me of the soul-scarring work of the late Tennessee Williams. Only with more laughs.

These newcomers to The Criterion were all auditioned online and had to battle through lockdown to eventually reach rehearsals. You'd never guess that from their efforts on Saturday night.

Occasionally I felt the gaps between the lines were longer than necessary, but the power of the emotions were laid bare for all to see. Along with the champagne, chips, and hamburgers.

Congratulations to director Bill Butler, his cast, and the whole Criterion crew for successfully battling Covid to bring this play to the stage

For tickets visit the Criterion website: www.criteriontheatre.co.uk