THEATRE / Short Stay - Grace Theatre, Latchmere Pub, SW11

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The Independent Culture
Leah Cohen's play is set in a run-down New York motel peopled by 'short stay' lovers and welfare dependants. Into this downbeat dump comes Susan (Margot Steinberg), a suburban Jewish housewife. Within five minutes of arriving, she is spilling out her heart to the welfare cases around her: how her life was so humdrum that she had to run away from husband and children without any warning or note to say where she has gone.

Leah Cohen has based much of the play on her own experiences of life after divorce from a 'Multi-National Corporate Executive'. She must have led a charmed life to meet such well-meaning people at the bottom of the American social pile. Susan is accepted immediately - not ripped off, robbed, or told to mind her own business (a far more likely scenario).

The main fault of this play is that it is difficult to sympathise with Susan. Nor can we feel her indignation when, three months and no communication later, she finds her husband (Peter Cadden) checking in for a bonk with his secretary (Colleen Passard). Even more incredible is the fact that he wants this self-centred, self-obsessed woman back.

To 12 Sept (071-228 2620)

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