Posts Tagged ‘Posy Sterling’

The Dixon of the title could be the family matriarch or her deceased husband, buried in the local cemetery, more likely the latter as we eventually learn he haunts just about every other character and is the focus of this dysfunctional family.

Mary returns to her home from a period of three months in prison, reduced from six months. It’s not clear why she was there. She’s furious that her daughter Julie has moved in, escaping her abusive partner, and wants her out, now. Her other daughter Bernie, and granddaughter Ella, are there to welcome her home. Their relationship is much stronger.

Mary has befriended Leigh, who she’s met in prison (a subtle, perfectly pitched performance from Posy Sterling) and invites her into her home. She’s oblivious to the family tensions and brings a sense of normality to proceedings. Then Mary’s feisty stepdaughter Tina, now known as Briana, turns up (a terrific performance by Alison Fitzjohn) and the family’s tragic past comes fully to the fore. Mary’s crime is her silence.

What I loved about the play is the way the story unfolds slowly, drawing you in to he family history, getting to know the characters, with a subtle reconciliatory ending in Roisin McBrinn’s well judged production.

The NT doesn’t have a great track record with new writing of late, but this new play by Deborah Bruce is a stand-out exception.

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