by Paula Citron
Anthony Minghella is best know as an Oscar-winning British film director/writer, but he began as a playwright. A new collective of women is mounting Minghella’s 1981 Whale Music. The play certainly has six plum roles for women and director Rosemary Dunsmore has made the best of their considerable talent.
The surprise about Whale Music is that it is written by a man because it is a very intimate play about the conversations and relationships that women have.
The action is set on the Isle of Wight were the unmarried and pregnant Caroline has come to have the baby she is giving up for adoption. Rallying around her are her free-thinking flat mate, her unhappily-married childhood friend, her Lesbian former teacher, the teacher’s teenage lover, and Caroline’s mother. Every one of the women has her own issues, as well as having strong feelings about Caroline’s predicament.
The result is a sweet and affecting play.
Whale Music continues until May 20.
From the Tarragon Extra Space I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.