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Boston Marriage - One4Review

The idea of the play by David Mamet is the expression Boston Marriage, meaning a pair of co-habiting women. It came into use in New England at the turn of the 20th century when the play was set. The two main characters are Anna (played by Caroline Dyott), mistress to some vague man of wealth, but openly in love with Claire (played by Victoria Ross), a lesbian. Claire wishes to use Anna’s residence to pursue a lesbian affair with a much younger woman, obviously to Anna’s displeasure. The dialogue between the two scheming women is in the style of Noel Coward with flowery language and biting put-downs. Constantly interrupting the abundant flow of words is the couthy Scots Maid (played by Lily Sykes), who appears to blubber at the slightest opportunity to provide an element of slapstick comedy. A complex story unfolds which is resolved with a happy ending – perhaps? Given that all the action takes place in the one location using a minimal set, the three actresses do well to hold and retain the attention of the audience. They also look physically right for the roles they play. Well directed and an interesting play, but its wordiness might not appeal to all.         ***

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