The Information on: `Aunt Dan and Lemon'

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The Independent Culture
What Is It

Tom Cairns's revival of Wallace Shawn's 1985 memory play exploring the relationship between an impressionable young girl, Lemon, and Aunt Dan, an influential Oxford Don and close friend of her parents. Shawn has described it as "an attempt to deal with love, desire and genocidal impulses".

Who's In It

Miranda Richardson (far right) makes a striking return to the stage as the charismatic Aunt Dan while Glenne Headly (right) is utterly convincing as the frail Lemon, reflecting on her younger self.

What They Say About It

"Shawn's constitutional inability to think in anything but melodramatic extremes leaves me dissatisfied with both the argument and the drama, which is over-dependent on monologue," Paul Taylor, The Independent.

"Tom Cairns's superb new production chills its audience in a way few plays do... Lemon's lonely, persistent questioning leads her to pick away, to considerable effect, at the illusions that lie between what we are and what we like to think we are," Robert Butler, The Independent on Sunday.

"A subtle and fascinating play... But it is also a deliberately contentious work... And my final impression is that the play is wrong-headed to the point of malignity," Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph.

Where You Can See It

Aunt Dan and Lemon is at the Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, London N1 (0171-359 4404), to 5 Jun