Review: 'She Called Me Mother' is "truly thought-provoking"
She Called Me Mother: A very poignant insight into homelessness and a touching story about the circumstances leading to Evangeline’s life as a charity magazine seller in London Bridge station.
The set is simple, with just a chair and a trolley containing the belongings of the homeless woman, but this is enough since it is the lyricism of the words from playwright Michelle Inniss which pack the punch in this play.
Cathy Tyson is mesmerising in the role of Evangeline as she takes the stage for the first part of the play, telling the story of her life as it is and how she looks forward to seeing the Black Swan who is the one who called her ‘mother’ comparing her to her own daughter whom she hasn’t seen for many years.
Enter Shirley, Evangeline’s daughter, played very movingly by Chereen Buckley, who tells her side of the story and this is where the truth of the history of their family is told. Initially, the two characters tell their version of the story independently, Shirley leaving and returning to the stage from time to time until we are brought to the present moment when Shirley sees her mother at London Bridge and they have a very emotional and heart-rending reunion.
Although the message of the play is serious, there are some wonderful moments of mirth which had the audience chortling, such as when Evangeline describes her ‘black swan’ as gliding among the pigeons sh*t as well as the wonderful phrase which shows Evangeline that this woman really is her daughter “I wouldn’t fart on cotton to let them smell” (apologies for my paraphrasing).
The intimacy of the Tara Theatre adds to the atmosphere and almost makes you feel that you really are listening to Evangeline in the middle of London Bridge Station and I, for one, left the theatre in a very thoughtful mood.
I would thoroughly recommend seeing this play, it truly is thought-provoking.
By Anne Horsburgh
She Called Me Mother runs at the Tara Theatre in Garrett Lane, Earlsfield, until Saturday (February 11).
February 8, 2017