Tag Archives: the vibrator play

Review: In the Next Room, St James Theatre

The full title of this play is In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play and the use of the vibrator to cure “hysteria” is at its centre. However, it is about much more than that, an examination of the role of women in late 19th Century New York and of attitudes to science and art. It is also a very funny, uplifting play about love. The playwright, Sarah Ruhl, is new to me but this is beautifully written and superbly acted, particularly by Natalie Casey as  Catherine Givings and Jason Hughes as her husband, Dr Givings, who uses the new device to produce “paroxysms” in women and the occasional man. Despite the slightly cheeky poster, the women are as well covered by their voluminous undergarments as they are in their full costumes, although the subject matter is definitely adult.

Review: The Thrill of Love, St James Theatre

Faye Castelow who was so great in After the Dance at the National plays Ruth Ellis in this play about the last woman to be hanged in Britain. It is a superb performance, into which she throws her all, looking totally drained at the curtain call. Apart from the detective investigating the killing who acts as narrator, the cast is all female which makes a pleasant change after seeing so many all-male or male dominated plays. It is also written by a woman and sees Ruth Ellis’s tragedy very much from a woman’s viewpoint. The direction (by a man) is a little clumsy in places, unnecessarily trying to add drama through flashing lights and sound effects, but this is very well worth seeing. Time Out Offers are offering 41% off at the moment – don’t miss it. P.S. it is an extremely comfortable, modern theatre.