After Electra, Before Death
So – how do you make the subject of death even vaguely entertaining? April De Angelis has a pretty good go with After Electra, currently playing at The Tricycle.
Marty Cruickshank plays Virginie who has gathered her friends and loved ones to her seaside cottage to celebrate her 81st birthday and suicide by walking into the sea. After all, she’s eaten enough fish in her life, it’s time for her to return the favour.
This is a witty, rather joyful romp through some difficult subjects. Do we have a right to die when we decide? Is guacamole the right thing to have as a last meal? Should you ditch the kids if they get in the way of your art?
We’re blessed with some good supporting female roles here played with aplomb by Rachel Bell, Veronica Roberts and Kate Fahy joined by Neil McCaul with a running thespian in-joke as a failed but ever hopeful actor of the declamatory school and Michael Begley as Roy. the rustic cab driver with a secret – he had a drunken fling with Virginie’s daughter, now an unmarried rather sour bereavement councillor. (I met a bereavement councillor the other day at a party – she was the most vibrant, human person I’ve met in a while. Strange how life really is.)
There are a few nice twists and turns – suicide defeated is rewarded with a stroke, mysterious daughters and lesbian affairs, but Virginie ain’t Clytemnestra and this isn’t really Electra at all. It’s much more fun!
And then we eight went for tapas at the rather wonderful Black Lion pub across the road. And unusually for us veteran’s of thespian delights, we even talked about the play.