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Posted: Thursday 06 April, 2017
Talented Next Stage actor Kay Francksen is in the middle of a hugely-popular week-long run of Geraldine Aron's hilarious and moving play My Brilliant Divorce. A decade after Next Stage last produced this witty one-woman show, Kay's performance is once again receiving excellent reviews:
Petra Schofield said:
This is a beautifully poignant, nuanced monologue from Geraldine Aron detailing the trials and tribulations of Angela Kennedy-Lipsky, the 50-something survivor of a messy divorce who seeks for someone to share her life with.
Whilst comparisons to Shirley Valentine will never be far away this has a different tone, it has a depth of range that allows the darkest moments to rise into humour and a glorious shift in the writing brings a quality to the deepest emotions and moments that would usually be confined to a diary entry.
Kay Francksen is on to an absolute winner as Angela, a well-paced considered performance alongside Axl the dog whose partnership deals with death, near death, heartbreak and breath-taking moments of sadness; no spoilers here. The timing is immaculate and the range of emotion is dealt with a true quality of thought and precision. This is a mammoth role and the promenade staging allows an effective use of the intimate space by director Ann Ellison.
Comedy is a great foil to the troubles life throws at us and this piece is no exception, perhaps having a female writer brings tenderness and a different sense of loss. The many unsuitable suitors are expertly painted alongside the original husband who walks out and the potential new suitors who walk in to her colourful life.
This is a hugely engaging piece and sits well with the great schedule on offer by the comedy festival this year. Well worth a visit, running at a mere 2 hours this is an excellent, thought provoking starter to an evening out.
Philip Horton, reviewing for the Bath Chronicle said of the play:
"First performed in Galway, 2001, My Brilliant Divorce transferred to the West End and subsequently around the world.
It’s a play about the loneliness of living alone (albeit with Axl the dog) and the efforts that may be made to cope with that. And it’s funny, it rings true, it has pathos and surprises.
Kay Francksen is utterly believable as Angela, whose husband Max has run off with young Mexican lover, Rosa the poser. Her daughter has known about the affair for ages but never updated mum, and now leaves too.
Thus Angela is liberated but lonely. Free to do as she pleases, but what should she do? Phone calls to mother are of little help and the lonely hearts column not much better. Christmases come and go as she runs the gamut of available actions until…?
Never a dull moment here so well worth a visit to The Mission, you’ll be swept along with Angela’s efforts."
Audience reactions have also been highly positive:
"Congratulations Kay Francksen on My Brilliant Divorce, a superb tour de force. Huge fun, and poignant too. I'm full of admiration!"
"My Brilliant Divorce.......Brilliant. Go and see it. Kay Francksen's one woman show at The Mission Theatre."
"Go see the very talented Kay in this tour de force performance!"
Only four more performances to go! The play runs until Saturday 8th (there is a matinee on Saturday at 2pm) and there are still some tickets left. Call 01225 428600 now for yours!