Arnold Wesker's trio of'monologues hasn't stood the test of time so well. Its observations on the expectations made of women remain true, but have become truistic into the bargain: their expression now verges on the parodic. Lorraine Molins' Annie, a simple hag with a heart of gold, doesn't pretend to be contemporary – her appearance out of the past brings unkind echoes of music-hall stereotypes; Joanne Richards' Anna is loud for a little studio space: Shani Solomons has more sympathetic material in which to make the exaggerations of her performance work, but it's still not quite enough. There's a pervasive feeling of the actresses following cues rather than finding characteristics within themselves. All this doesn't make Annie Wobbler a bad production, but it excites no more than faint praise.
Written for City Limits magazine.
Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.
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