Today I was able to take a little time for myself (which if you’ve kept up with me at all lately you’ll know is a pretty big deal) to head over to Players By The Sea to catch Talking Heads 2. If you’re not familiar with Talking Heads, it’s a series of dramatic monologues written by playwright Alan Bennett – originally for BBC Television - chronicling the lives of seemingly ordinary individuals. I had the distinct pleasure of catching the first part of the series at Players By The Sea last year, so when I heard that they’d be doing the next part this month, I knew I had to be there.
I’m not usually into “drama” as it were, preferring more light-hearted or fantastical plot lines, but there’s just something about the weaving of the narrative, the pacing, dry humor and talent of the team at Players, that I couldn’t help but be drawn in by the lives of the three women in Bennett’s story.
The stage is simple, but effective in setting the scene on the lives of Susan, Marjory and Mizz Fozzard.
Susan, played by Caroline Lee, is a vicar’s wife who is tired of going through the motions of being religious, putting up with the ambitions of her vain, insensitive husband and his doting parishioners. A closet alcoholic who drinks too much sherry (as well as the parish’s communion wine), she’s forced to go further afield for drink when she runs up a large tab in town. The gentleman she meets at this new establishment has a life-changing effect on her, but you’ll have to see the play for yourself to see what I mean as I don’t want to spoil it. ^_^
Marjory, played by Kasi Walters, is the frustrated wife of Stuart, a slaughterhouse worker who brought home a dog that his wife finds distasteful and messy. As she complains about Tina and her incessant barking, Marjory begins to share some strange goings-on (killings and the like) that have happened in their town, and complaining about her husband’s late hours at the slaughterhouse.
And poor Miss Fozzard, played by Simone Aden-Reid, is a lonely, middle-aged department store clerk who is worn down by having to care for her brother, who recently suffered a stroke. The one thing that seems to brighten her existence is her habit of making frequent trips to the chiropodist (podiatrist); however, even that simple joy is threatened when her longstanding chiropodist moves. Prior to his leaving, he refers her to a retired practitioner who occasionally takes on new patients and whose interest in Miss Fozzard’s feet and footwear borders on the verge of a full-blown fetish and then some.
It’s definitely a wild ride, and if you have time next weekend and enjoy droll, British humor, I strongly recommend you check it out!