Theatre Royal, Stratford East 19th February - 20th March 2010
Laura Howard (Matty) & Sheryl Gannaway (Francis)
PHOTO - COPYRIGHT JOAN STREET
REVIEW - 24TH FEBRUARY 2010
- BY JOAN STREET
Based on best selling novelist Martina Cole's book of the same name, 'Two Women' tells the story of Susan and Matty who are serving sentences in Holloway Prison for murdering their husbands. Appeals on both cases are in progress. Susan seems to be resigned to her fate and will not 'open up' to her solicitor who is trying to work on her appeal. In contrast Matty firmly believes that her husband severely provoked his demise and an acquittal is almost certain.
Susan, superbly played by Cathy Murphy (Tilly in the BBC production 'House of Eliott'), comes from a poor East End background and takes much of the stage for this production. Matty, admirably portrayed by Laura Howard, takes a more subversive role but her character becomes increasingly more woven into the plot.
The story progresses with some twists and turns, keeping the audience constantly engrossed until the dramatic final.
Susan wears the same clothes throughout, baggy trainers and jumper, adding to the overall impact. As the tale unwinds you can't help but emphasise with her and almost feel the abuse she has suffered. The whole production is excellently produced by Simon Sturgess and directed by Ryan Romain, with the 11 strong cast skilfully doubling up on some roles.
The play has some disturbing moments but these are counteracted by some light comedy, giving the story a bitter sweet feel. It does contain swearing along with adult scenes but these are integral to the plot. There is also some strobe lighting.
Martina Cole has been writing for 18 years. Now with 16 novels to her credit she is also turning her hand to TV production and presenting. Two of her novels, 'Dangerous Lady' and 'The Jump' have been adapted for T.V. achieving excellent ratings.
Martina Coles 'Two Women' is adapted for the stage by Patrick Prior. Martina Cole is one of the UKs most popular crime writers selling over 8 million copies and topping The Sunday Times bestseller list. For the first time ever, one of Martina Coles novels is brought to the stage. 'Two Women' is an explosive thriller of betrayal, heartbreak, justice and redemption. Cast includes Midsomer Murders favourite Laura Howard (aka Cully Barnaby) as Matty and a few other familiar faces: Victoria Alcock as June (Bad Girls); Marc Bannerman as Barry (EastEnders); Cathy Murphy as Sue (House of Eliott); Alison Newman as Doreen (Footballers Wives) and Sally Oliver as Roselle (Emmerdale).
Tickets from only £10. Call 020 8534 0310 or book online www.stratfordeast.com The theatre is only a few minutes walk from Stratford tube on the Central line.
CHANCE TO WIN TICKETS! We have 4 pairs of tickets available for lucky winners. Just answer this question: Which Midsomer Murders actress is playing Matty in the forthcoming production of Two Women? firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer and contact details. First come, first served and subject to availability.