by Paula Citron.
Linda Griffiths writes plays that are theatrical tour-de-forces with cannonades of provocative themes.
Her Age of Arousal is set in 1885, and focuses on two ardent feminists or Odd Women, meaning those who refuse to be Paired in marriage, and their encounter with three genteel poor spinster sisters. The impact the five have on each other is both mutually destructive and life-affirming. The lone man is the catalyst who represents male establishment.
Griffiths’ style veers between what the characters are saying in public and what they are expressing as their inner thoughts, all in a jumble, and the audience has to be alert to tell the difference.
Director Maja Ardal has concentrated on Griffiths’ restless energy, and her female cast – Clare Coulter, Sarah Dodd, Ellen-Ray Hennessy, Maggie Huculak and Gemma James-Smith are top notch, although words were lost. The weak link is Dylan Scott Smith who lacks charisma and smooth delivery.
Age of Arousel continues until Dec. 16.
From Factory Theatre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for The New CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.