New Stages

Holidays: West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
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The Independent Culture
It has been congenial: books, nature study, wine, three weeks in Provence, all in the company of the slightly boobyish but "supportive" Arthur (Terence Wilton). But Rose (Morag Hood) has been living with cancer for years. Now, with fresh treatment choices to make, she is taking a week's solitary retreat.

For a few moments, late in John Harrison's new play, we get a sense of how hard it is for Rose to identify any action she can take which is authentically for herself.

Dramatically the issue is posed by Ralph (David Michaels), a plumber of poetical and existential bent who has been round the world but travels furthest in his own mind. At the end of her week Rose is torn between Arthur and her mysteriously beckoning backpacker.

Too much time is wasted in laborious flashback, through the insufferable device of Rose talking into a cassette, and the dizziness of now is buried in detail.

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