"Abandonment" by Kate Atkinson (13-16 Jul 2016)
Kate Atkinson will be known to many for her highly acclaimed novels, such as Behind The Scenes At The Museum, Life After Life and Case Histories. Less well-known is the fact that she wrote a play, Abandonment, first performed in Edinburgh in 2000. It is a marvelous play, full of the richness of dialogue - and themes - for which she is famous.
And it is that richness that so appealed to me when I first read it; the audience can come to it on so many levels, as a meditation on love, family, religion, resurrection… or simply a witty, occasionally shocking, character study. It’s even a ghost story!
It was originally set in Scotland, with its particular brand of Catholicism, a recurring theme in her work. In Case Histories, she writes
“It wasn't that [he] believed in religion, or a God, or an afterlife. He just knew it was impossible to feel this much love and for it to end.”
And that very much is the issue here: is it possible for us to end, simply disappear? Or do our lives somehow continue to reach forward into the future, touching those yet to come, as the long-forgotten still have an impact us?
For Elizabeth, that is compounded by not really knowing who she is in the first place, by being first abandoned at birth, and then thrown into a family that, like, I dare say, most of ours, doesn’t quite function the way we might choose.
Perhaps it is exactly those doubts that ghosts of times gone by choose to colonise as their homes in the living world…
What They Said
"What a superb play. Loved the story, cast and production values. SMP does it ... YET AGAIN! Congrats to all. Mwah." Adrian E
Agnes (Magdalena Jablonska)
Susie/Gertie (Anny Hooker)
Elizabeth (Cressida Strauss)
Kitty/Laetitia (Elizabeth Ollier)
Callum/Rev. Scobie (Jon Holmes)
Ina/Lavender (Bryony Wilman)
Alec/Merric (Ashley Brown)
Director (Paul Smith)
Production Designer (Marc Pearce)
Light and Sound Operation (Marc Pearce, Jo Harry)
Wardrobe (Teena Heer)
Asst. Wardrobe (Chris Pease)
Set (Coral Churchill, Marios Papadakis)
Stage Manager (Jo Harry)
Asst. Stage Manager (Lauren Powell)
Props (Gina Symmons)
Hair and Make Up (Fleur de Henrie)
Marketing (Helen Doyle)
Front of House (Members & friends of St. Michael's Players)