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Previewed 29 January 2009, Opened 6 February 2009, Closed 2 May 2009 at the Vaudeville Theatre in London
A major revival of Alan Ayckbourn's play Woman in Mind in London starring Janie Dee and directed by the author, Alan Ayckbourn.
Like many other women in the UK, Susan lives with a boring, inconsiderate and unattractive husband. Like many other women, this drives her mad. Enter Susan's mind, where fantasy and reality collide with devastating and hilarious consequences. Alan Ayckbourn's most personal and powerful play, Woman in Mind tells the mesmerising tale of a woman's struggle with her imagination.
The cast for Woman in Mind in London features Janie Dee as 'Susan' along with Bill Champion as 'Andy', Joanna David as 'Muriel', Stuart Fox as 'Gerald' and Paul Kemp as 'Bill' with Perdita Avery as 'Lucy', Dominic Hecht as 'Rick' and Martin Parr as 'Tony'. It is directed by Alan Ayckbourn with designs by Roger Glossop and lighting by Mick Huges. This production comes into London's West End following a critically acclaimed season at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough.
Janie Dee's recent West End theatre credits include Michael Barker-Caven's revival of William Nicholson's play Shadowlands (Wyndham's Theatre 2007 / Novello Theatre 2007), John Doyle's revival of Jerry Herman's musical Mack and Mabel (Criterion Theatre 2006) and Jeremy Sams' revival of Michael Frayn's comedy Donkeys' Years (Harold Pinter Theatre 2006) and Sophisticated Ladies (Globe Theatre 1992).
Alan Ayckbourn's London plays include Communicating Doors, Damsels in Distress Trilogy: RolePlay, FlatSpin, and GamePlan, How The Other Half Loves, Absurd Person Singular, Absent Friends, The Norman Conquests, Relatively Speaking, A Chorus of Disapproval, Bedroom Farce, and Things We Do for Love. Alan Ayckbourn also provided lyrics to the Andrew Lloyd Webber's P G Wodehouse musical By Jeeves, and Roger Glossop's children's show of Beatrix Potter's Where is Peter Rabbit?
"Alan Ayckbourn's decision to give the title-role to that wonderfully warm actress Janie Dee [is] as much a surprise to her fans as it's a stretch for her... Dee embraces all that's asked of her, and more. Indeed, her naturally appealing qualities are a plus, for they make you feel that Susan has suppressed an emotional generosity that might find fulfilment in a happier context. Yet she's no sentimentally conceived victim." The Times
"Janie Dee plays Susan, a forty-something woman who knocks herself out with a garden rake and becomes prey to fantasies. She is visited by a dreamy family, all dressed in Daz-white clothes, who smother her with love and ply her with champagne. Her real family, in sharp contrast, consists of her smug vicar husband, a teenage son who has not been in touch since joining a religious sect in Hemel Hempstead and a sour sister-in-law. This is a portrait of a woman in the grip of a midlife crisis. Her son has rejected her, her marriage run its dreary course. No one needs her any more and, while the fantasy family becomes more and more malign, the real one offers meagre comfort and she spirals into catatonia. Dee is sensationally good and Paul Kemp is marvellous as the accidentprone, bumbling doctor who has loved her secretly for 11 years. But the rest of the cast is less assured, which is why Ayckbourn's production doesn't haunt as it might." The Mail on Sunday
Woman in Mind at the Vaudeville Theatre in London previewed from 29 January 2009, opened on 6 February 2009 and closed on 2 May 2009.