It's Only Words

It's Only Words tells the story of Mrs Moore, an old woman who has locked herself in a public bathroom while she thinks about her life and the choices she has made. Her most important memories come to life as she re-enacts her first meeting with her husband and all that happened afterwards.

An emotive monologue which conveys its story with sensitivity and charm

Arguably the strongest aspect of the show is the central performance from Eileen Nicholas as Mrs Moore. She brings a real pathos to the role when Sylvia Dow's script requires it and is always very engaging, whether depicting her character at age 11 or in her old age. She is ably assisted by Jamie Francis (Mr Moore) who manages to be charming without ever seeming entirely trustworthy.

Essentially about a woman pushed right to the limit, It's Only Words is quite a familiar tale. This in itself is not problematic, of course – many of the best stories have familiar conceits. Unfortunately, the details of this particular story are also, for the most part, just too familiar; I found myself guessing each new plot development before it happened.

Yet Mrs Moore's efforts to classify the graffiti on the wall of the public toilet according to library sections, for example, is very effective and often amusing, while the inclusion of little details about her 1950s childhood were very much appreciated by most of a similarly aged audience! Stasi Schaeffer's direction uses the space particularly well; the policewoman outside the door, and the imagined presence of Mr Moore, are never allowed to invade her space. 

Overall, It's Only Words is an emotive monologue which conveys its story with sensitivity and charm but, in covering well-trodden ground, never quite manages to lift itself out of the ordinary.

Reviews by Grace Knight

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Mrs Moore has locked herself in a cubicle of the public toilet. A toilet covered with graffiti. You could almost classify them, like in a library. Though a lot would be in the ‘pornography’ section of course. Not that she’s ever seen that in a library….

She muses on life, love, libraries and literature, while WPC Hay struggles womanfully to find a way of persuading her to leave. What is the secret which has brought Mrs Moore to this place? And to this point in her life? And what about Joe?