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Mary Rose - One4Review

J.M.Barrie’s play Mary Rose is remarkable – part comedy, part mystery and part romance. Theatre Alba’s production does the play full justice. Mary Rose first appears in the play as an 18 year old girl and subsequently as a young mother in her early 20’s. However, despite the sexual feelings for her husband James, she has never lost her childlike innocence. Going back to the age of 11, a mysterious event happened when she was on a holiday with her parents to the Hebrides. It is so potent that her parents have not told her of the event and she has no recollection of what took place. As the story unfolds going backwards and forwards in time between 1909 and 1946, it becomes more chilling. Barrie skilfully uses comedy to allow the tension to build up gradually, as in the picnic scene when Mary Rose and James are accompanied by a part-time gillie, Mr Cameron. Barrie’s dialogue sharply brings out the contrast between the upper class attitudes of James and the intellectually superior views of Cameron, a crofter’s son training to be a minister. Theatre Alba, under the direction of Charles Nowosielski, has assembled a strong cast. Romana Abercromby’s portrayal of Mary Rose is most impressive. Every movement and gesture conveys her childlike character. Reviewing Mary Rose with its complexity can only scratch the surface of the play. Too much detail will give away how the drama builds to an intensely moving and emotional climax. This production is a very complete theatrical experience. *****

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