Review: ESCAPED ALONE, Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Escaped Alone runs at the Tron Theatre until 9 March

By: Feb. 24, 2024
Review: ESCAPED ALONE, Tron Theatre, Glasgow
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Review: ESCAPED ALONE, Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Escaped Alone is written by Caryl Churchill and directed by Joanna Bowman. The play was first staged in 2016 at the Royal Court.

Mrs Jarrett (Blythe Duff) is passing a neighbour's garden when she sees a gap in the fence. The three women notice her and invite her in for a cup of tea. What starts as pleasant small talk between four women over sixty, becomes more intense as secrets are revealed.

Lena (Anne Kidd) doesn't go out. Irene Macdougall (Vi) has a confession regarding her husband and a kitchen knife. Joanna Tope (Sally) has an intense fear of cats sneaking into her house. Each woman reveals her backstory with a brilliant monologue and every terrific actress has their chance to shine.

The mood changes when the focus is shifted from this bright and informal garden to an apocalyptic wasteland. We're told of a world where there is no longer food for the population and instead, people watch breakfast on their iPad. The obese start selling slices of their own flesh and then resort to eating them themselves. It's a jarring contrast to this pleasant little garden scene. 

At just fifty minutes, Escaped Alone manages to accomplish an awful lot. There are plenty of moments of humour alongside the terror. Churchill's script is excellent and the four performers are a joy to watch. It's also a brilliant portrayal of women in this age group that you don't see often, especially not interacting with each other. The cosiness of the garden scene lulls you into a false sense of security, making this quite the disarming experience.

Photo credit: Mihaela Bodlovic