Patricia has been concocting the perfect speech in her head over the last year, of what she would say if she were ever to face her ex-abusive boyfriend again. However when she finally bumps into him on the street, dressed in her cycling attire, all she can manage is a nervous “Hi” and self-loathingly agrees to go for dinner with him.
This play successfully highlights the complex nature of abusive relationships, while serving humorous anecdotes and powerful reflections.
Martha Watson Allpress’ play encapsulates moments we have all experienced. That speech we had rehearsed in our heads that we never get to say or the perfect comeback that doesn’t quite go to plan, however Patricia’s experience is significantly more painful than most.
Angelina Chudi as Patricia is a force to be reckoned with. In this one-woman show, she commands her audience using powerful emotive storytelling, wit and sass. With a minimalist set, containing just a bed, a radio and a few items of clothing, Chudi takes us on Patricia’s journey, reliving her painful past, while she gets ready for her date.
Like most cases of abuse, this play highlights how there are no warning signals. Patricia fell in love and was swept off her feet, “The sex was witchcraft,” she gushes, recalling the first few weeks of their relationship with the charming bartender she met on a night out. “The second time he hit me hurt the most,” is how she describes the transition from love and passion to abuse and control, “It hurt so much.”
Watson Allpress cleverly weaves in different definitions throughout the play such as, “affection”, “desire”,“panic'' and' “shame” to frame and navigate Patricia’s story. Patricia apologizes to her abuser and admits to still loving him, describing her relationship as “the most exquisite form of self destruction.”
This play successfully highlights the complex nature of abusive relationships, while serving humorous anecdotes and powerful reflections. Patricia may never get to deliver her speech in the way she wanted to but throughout the play she builds up her confidence and manages to find her voice again.
An important piece of work.