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Review: IRON at The Roustabouts Theatre Co. Showcases A Talented Mother-Daughter Team

Playing through June 25th.

Review: IRON at The Roustabouts Theatre Co. Showcases A Talented Mother-Daughter Team IRON, playing through June 25th from The Roustabouts Theatre Company, explores a fraught mother-daughter relationship where emotions run high, memories can be faulty, and it isn't always easy to know who to trust.

Set in a Scottish women's prison we find Fay (Rosina Reynolds), and her guards (Richard P. Trujillo and Jada Alston Owens). They are all surprised when Josie (Kate Rose Reynolds) Fay's 25-year-old daughter arrives at the prison for a visit. Fay is in prison for murdering her husband, Josie's father, and they haven't seen each other since Fay went to prison.

Josie can't remember anything before she was 11 years old, and has come to Fay to ask her to help fill in the blank space that is most of her childhood. Fay on the other hand would rather focus on the present and live vicariously through Josie's travels, work, and personal life. As they start to settle into their relationship, Fay doles out memories in a slow drip, just enough to keep Josie wanting more.

As they get to know each other, the women start to show similarities that run deeper than their appearance. Both are smart, planners, and can become intensely focused on what they want, regardless if they should or not. They also share a tendency toward emotional highs and lows that can flare up in an instant.

Both guards warn Josie that prison is a hard life, and Fay may not be exactly what she may seem, but Josie refuses to listen. As Fay continues to draw her in, Josie is happy to help Fay, even when she knows she shouldn't. When Josie decides to push the issue of her father's death and her mother's conviction, she is met with no enthusiasm from Fay, and some unexpected results.

Rosina and her daughter Kate not only reflect on each other in their appearance but also in their intensely focused acting styles. Kate's Josie starts off unsure and pliable, but soon shows a vein of emotional temper and tenacity that proves she is her mother's daughter.

Rosina's Fay starts off a bit frail and hesitant but is slyly mercurial as she switches from desolate and lonely, to manipulative, to heartbroken. There is no doubt that Fay loves Josie and wants the opportunity to get to know her and her life, but Fay also can't resist trying to blue the boundaries as she needs. Her final monologue is intense and you won't be able to take your eyes off her.

Review: IRON at The Roustabouts Theatre Co. Showcases A Talented Mother-Daughter Team

Trujillo is the more matter-of-fact and pragmatic guard, one who follows the rules and offers advice to Josie based on ears of experience in prisons of all kinds. Owens' guard is more emotionally vulnerable, and her experience with Fay has left a bitter taste in her mouth, though she still extends some friendliness towards her. Though both guards show that enough time in prison plays with everyone's minds, not just the inmates.

Directed by Jacole Kitchen, the three-hour play keeps the pacing just on track to build the suspense on what may happen next and allows the characters to breathe and not become caricatures. The set by Tony Cucuzzella allows for dialogue and conversations beyond the prison visitor room, with lighting by Michelle Miles, and sound by Paul Durso completing the picture.

IRON explores what distance and what people are willing to do to try to save someone from themselves

How To Get Tickets

You can see IRON from The Roustabouts Theatre through June 25 at MOXIE Theatre. For ticket and show time information go to theroustabouts.org

Photo Credit: Roustabouts Theatre; Daren Scott



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