Her Right Mind
  • By Pete Shaw
  • |
  • 25th Aug 2012
  • |
  • ★★★★

The audience is introduced to the story behind Her Right Mind via a dynamically-staged sequence showing us the mundanity of protagonist Jack’s life. It turns out that this literal choreography mirrors the metaphorical choreography his sister Jill imposes on his life to deal with his obsessive compulsive behaviour.

Choreography gives way to more traditional dialogue, and the clever writing starts dropping clues about their backstory. It felt like watching The Pitchfork Disney where Presley and Haley had reversed their roles. The microscopic attention to detail beautifully spins the story out almost as though Philip Ridley’s hand were guiding them.

Jack’s obsessive organisational talent is turned to his advantage when Jill suggests he could get a filing job. Job secured, what seems like a good idea at the time starts to turn sour for Jill as Jack develops a friendship with Mandy in the office and relies less on his sister. The action is sliced up with flashbacks to a Mediterranean holiday the siblings shared, repeating the dynamically choreographed style of the opening sequence. There are some ingenious use of props, such as the suitcase that turns into the Punch and Judy booth, and the ice cream scoops made from balloons. Stylistically, this show can’t be faulted.

The story however, got me a little muddled. Non-linear narrative is fine, but I did struggle to follow exactly what the skeletons in the closet were, and the clues were maybe a bit too obtuse at times. Devised theatre can sometimes be a bit too clever for its own good, although in this case they’re just on the right side of the line.

Reviews by Pete Shaw

Good Grief

★★★★
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★★★★
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★★★★★
Christmas in Leicester Square

La Clique

★★★★★

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The Blurb

To manage her brother's distinctive temperament a woman constructs a life that balances obsession with escapism. When all this is challenged by the arrival of someone new, how grave will the consequences be?

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