“It’s a challenging and thought-provoking production brimming with pathos, politics and laugh-out-loud moments”


Induhu Rubasingham’s world premier of WIFE by Samuel Adamson, at the revamped and renamed Kiln theatre in Kilburn, positively fizzes with camp and intellectual exuberance.

Its based on Ibsen’s character of Nora (from A Doll’s House), a woman stifled within the constrained and subordinate role of wife.

This slick, muscular production, skilfully examines, through four contrasting (but generationally linked) scenes, society’s changing perspective on marriage, gender and queerness.

The first scene, set in 1959, in the dressing room of a production of A Dolls House, shows middle class, married Daisy desperately trying to salvage her (secret) relationship with lover Suzannah.

The second scene, set in the 80s, reveals the juxtaposition of sexual politics and personal power at play within in the relationship of gallery owner Robert and his mothers (Daisy) carer Eric.

Each scene plays out the same theme… the role of a wife. Its characters (straight and queer) wrestling to maintain a balance of personal freedom, compromise and equality within their relationships.

There’s a lot of crash, bang, wallop in this show – and not just on the entertaining front. It’s a challenging and thought-provoking production brimming with pathos, politics and laugh-out-loud moments.

Despite minor flaws – occasional clumsy directional shifts from one scene to another, and some of the characters coming across as rather stereotypical – I loved this production.

This was an ensemble piece, with the actors playing a number of parts. Special mention to Karen Fishwick, playing Daisy perfectly on point. Also Calam Lynch playing Eric with an understated talent that shone.

This production runs, at The Kiln Theatre (0207 328 1000) until 6 July. I recommend you go and see it… take your wife (whoever she, or he, may be).

WIFE is on at Kiln Theatre until 6 July 2019. Details and tickets here: kilntheatre.com/whats-on/wife/

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