Painted Woman by Sue Woolfe
Review by Barbara Hebden
Skilfully directed by Sue Rider, Painted Woman, adapted from Sue Woolfe's novel, is a triumph for La Boite. Music movement and dialogue combine to produce the most emotionally challenging, brilliant theatre I have seen for a long time. Woolfe's poetic text comes powerfully alive in Christopher Smith's geometrically stunning set, lit by Mark Lloyd Hunt.
Donald Hall's original music is an integral part of this web of introspection and intrigue, the evocative harp tones spelling tranquillity, the jarring percussion signalling mental turmoil and the sombre timbre of the cello implying darkest moods.
Geoffrey Montrose is s moody, morose artist of note who dominates the creative urge of his daughter Frances who has forsaken any life of her own to look after her father and learn his craft. The arrival of Molly, a wealthy, bubbly, extrovert, no art connoisseur, but generous in her trying, opens the door to a past shrouded in uncertainty.
Rider is blessed with a dream cast. As Montrose,dour, egotistical and devoid of one redeeming virtue, Alan Edwards gives a riveting performance, matched by Helen Moulder's Frances, beautifully tuned to every emotion. Quick of step, ostentatious in her jewellery, Kaye Stevenson is a perfect Molly, exuberant, naive and subservient to Montrose. Like a spirit hovering, Julieanne Hansen glides, sometimes in distorted movements, other times unflowing lines, for me a reflection of Frances' state of mind, both tortured and tranquil.
The Sunday Mail 26 June 1994