Night, Mother Review

Madeleine Sutcliffe reviews Applause Theatre's abridged version of Marsha Norman's "Night, Mother", as part of the Darlington Arts Festival 2018.

Applause Theatre produced an abridged version of “Night, Mother” by American playwright Marsha Norman as part of the Darlington Arts Festival 2018, with additional performances at Neasham Reading Room and in Gainford.

Directed by Alan Anderson, the play revolves around two members of the dysfunctional Cates family living in small-town southern America. Mama Thelma (played by Samantha Bradshaw) and her daughter Jessie (Emma Simpson) begin an ordinary Saturday evening at home as Mama awaits her weekly manicure from Jessie, who suffers from epilepsy, depression and self-doubt. Jessie’s marriage has failed, and she is estranged from her troubled son Ricky.

What happens when, instead of providing a manicure, Jessie informs Mama about her plans for a life-changing event that would have a profound effect on Thelma? Can Thelma persuade her daughter to wait a little longer before taking action? The evening descends into an edge-of-seat and grippingly dark drama where no one can predict the end with certainty.

Both Samantha and Emma gave outstanding and emotionally searing performances. They had also mastered the challenge of acquiring a Deep Southern accent. This is absolutely not to be missed!

The last performance of Applause Theatre’s “Night, Mother” is at the Academy Theatre in Gainford on Saturday, June 16th, 2018 at 7:30pm. Tickets are £8 on the door. Visit the Gainford Drama Club Facebook page for further details.