Colin McIntyre Productions, The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband

Review in Issue 6-2 | Summer 1994

What might you get if traditional repertory theatre collides head-on with mime and physical theatre? Well, this might be one example. Colin McIntyre Productions, one of the few remaining traditional repertory companies, recently staged the well known Snarling Beasties production, The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband, which was an award winner at the 1992 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and had a successful run at the Royal Court. Written by Debbie Isitt, this sharp black comedy about suburban monotony and marriage break-up is set around three Liverpudlian characters over a period of months. Not exactly a whodunnit, but a why-she-did-it, it seems on paper to be a standard repertory piece of theatre. Curtain-up, though, reveals a minimalist green set consisting of three outsized chairs and two large tables. The characters bounce onto stage and immediately begin miming all props – cigarettes, lighters, food, crockery, clothes and so on. Being natural and exceedingly succinct, directed by Colin McIntyre, the mime does not detract whatsoever from the action, but only adds to it. Such naturalistic mime can be a burden as audiences wince at weak mimicry of everyday actions, yet the three performers (Sadie Nine, Paul Scott and Julia Sherman) show no weakness and contain everything with precision and apparent ease.

Raw and emotional monologues, clear mime, and cartoon-like sequences made this a refreshing evening. The show hopes to tour. I hope it does. New mime audiences will have a real treat.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Apr 1994

This article in the magazine

Issue 6-2
p. 20