- Gareth K Vile
- 1 August 2019
This article is from 2019
Compassionate exploration of contemporary problems
Katie Guicciardi's script addresses a trinity of serious issues: homelessness, perinatal mental health and the impact of patriarchal neglect. A new mother, played with an understated confidence by Guicciardi, finds herself isolated and obsessed with a homeless man who has taken up residence across from her home. With her husband increasingly absent and unsupportive, she deteriorates from a proud mum full of love for her child to a state of despair, with the metaphor of the fox, an urban predator known to have attacked babies, referring both to her depression and the threat of the outsider.
The measured pace allows a convincing description of the mother's anxiety and the progress of her anguish, and time for philosophical reflections on the relationship between homelessness and security. The weaving of the themes is not precise, and the three issues connect only vaguely: the absent father and husband is a subtle exposure of how women are left to shoulder childcare, the symbol of the homeless man comments on the mother's own sense of dislocation, and Guicciardi's performance draws out the detail of the mother's degeneration. Everything is considered with an appropriate seriousness, revealing a compassionate exploration of a set of very contemporary problems.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 26 Aug (not 13), 11.30am, £9–£11 (£8–£10).