Straightaway, my takeaway on this play is how there are some incredibly talented actors in this country and there is largely a huge disconnect between talent and plaudits.
Much of this, of course, as in life, is to do with how commercially viable a vehicle is. And I get that. Not everything is for consumption by the masses and nor should it be.
We wouldn’t get the dark, the taboo, the controversial, the sharp, the left field, the triggering, the hugely important art that we do if everything played to ticket sales and middle England.
But sometimes I just wish there was room in society for that spotlight and comment on talent displayed in fringe to be shared more widely.
Ok, too far, I know. That’s life. I just get overexcited sometimes. What I’m trying to say is…
Yasmin Dawes as Patricia – you were brilliant.
There are triggers in this play that were clearly signposted both in the literature and by the lovely people of The Lowry, encouraging us to leave and take a break at any point we needed.
Indeed the full name of the one-woman play is triggering which is why I’ve adopted the approach by the theatre to the main title of my post. The full name is:
Patricia Gets Ready (for a date with a man that used to hit her).
We’re taken on a journey by Patricia from her bedroom. And she’s funny and we wonder whether we should laugh, already primed to cry.
Then we get into it and we do laugh. Because she is funny. And she seems ok. She’s obviously had trauma but she seems to be approaching this rendezvous with humour and sass.
Then we delve deeper and she’s not ok and we’re not ok with her going on this date. And as the complexities and layered reasons for survivors of domestic abuse staying with their abusers become clear through Patricia’s flip-flopping approach to the date and seeing him again, it’s tense.
We’re with Patricia’s unseen mum, pleading with her not to go back. We’re heads bowed as she plays out a seemingly subservient role in the date. But then we’re joyous and relieved as we then realise that that didn’t play out as we see Patricia play out an empowering and ‘winning’ role in the date. And it’s going to be ok.
But then we’re back again and seeing that Patricia is beginning the date for real. But how will this play out?
And we’re tense again, hopeful, nervous, touched by the story, the sharing and the all too real knowledge that there are Patricias (and Patricks) everywhere playing out such a reunion or meeting, as often as daily each time they struggle with whether this is the day that they don’t go home and walk away forever.
Behind every great message is a great writer, in this case it’s Martha Watson Allpress. And I had to check that the writer wasn’t Yasmin herself such was the conviction with which the material was delivered. An artistic collaboration made in heaven.
Produced by Nur Khairiyah (Khai) and directed by Kaleya Baxe, it was 60 minutes of theatre that made you feel. All performed in the Lowry Studio – often the biggest and boldest stories are told in the smallest of spaces.
On for one night only in Salford, whilst not an opportunity to see on this current tour, info can be found here Summary, awards , reviews and gallery or @patgetsready on the old socials.
Find out what else is coming up at https://thelowry.com/whats-on/
- Production Stage Manager – Leon Smith
- Well-being Practitioner – Abs Sol
- Asst Producer – Layla Madanat
- Costume And Set Designer – Ella Clarke
- Sound Designer – Beth Duke
- Lighting Designer – Jessica Brigham
- Photography and illustration – Xanthus, Greta Mitchel, Korey J Ryan & Heedayah Lockman
Salford help and support:
- Saheli works for Asian women in Manchester through a safe space and helpline (0161 945 4187 – Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm). Information and support is offered in Arabic, Bangla, English, Gujarati, Punjabi and Urdu. http://saheli.org.uk