Fossil Woman, Shaker Productions

Review in Issue 9-1 | Spring 1997

It was difficult to get enthusiastic about this one. What a very strange subject for a piece of theatre. There was no sense of ensemble in what appeared to be an ensemble piece. Plus two of the actors (Julia Rayner and Alison Edgar) were clearly a cut above the rest. It was really hard to see what the piece was all about. The exploitation of women by men? The exploitation of the ‘uneducated’? The concept of nature versus urbanisation? The pure wonderment of discovery? An obsession with collecting?

The story was, however, pleasant to watch. The set was beautiful though underused. One did feel the sea and could even feel the fossils and the great skeletal dinosaurs described. Julia Rayner seemed to be fighting, with great energy and humour, to bring the piece to a level of heightened eccentricity, while Alison Edgar was rooted both firmly and effectively in a world of realism. Excellent performers though they both are, this did not work. There was no group magic, no sense of the real wonderment of it all, no real pain.

Contrary to expectations, this was a sadly unchallenging piece. With a few cast changes though this could be transformed into a touching, Shared Experience-style tale lamenting the human tendency to destroy – both each other and the natural world.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 1996

This article in the magazine

Issue 9-1
p. 25