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Review: ALL ON HER OWN, Stream.Theatre

This digital version of Terence Rattigan's one-woman play stars Janie Dee

Review: ALL ON HER OWN, Stream.Theatre

Isolation and loneliness are certainly aspects of the human experience that more of us have felt of late. Terence Rattigan's one-woman play, All On Her Own, has been revived in a new digital production by Jack Maple & Brian Zeilinger-Goode for MZG Theatre Productions, starring Janie Dee as Rosemary.

The piece debuted on television in 1968 and was then presented on stage at the Overground Theatre in 1974. A notable recent revival was its inclusion in Kenneth Branagh's season of Plays at the Garrick Theatre, with Zoë Wanamaker in the lead role.

This filmed version opens with melancholic strings and piano (composed by Lindsey Miller). We hear Rosemary off-stage saying farewell to someone who has dropped her home from a party. We hear a muffled invitation for the friend to join Dee for an evening tipple, but this is declined. We hear the door close. Click. She is alone. Or is she?

The remainder of the piece is an intriguing and engaging exploration of grief and existing in isolation. Rosemary thinks out loud as she works through a secret burden on her heart with regards to her late husband, Gregory.

Dee's monologue as she nurses a dram is sincere and thoughtfully delivered, from the lighter moments to the more sinister turns. She paces around the cosy living room, echoes from her smart black heels bouncing off the wooden panels.

The multiple camera angles keep the pace varied, and we get to enjoy close-ups of Dee's captivating performance that we might not get to experience in a theatre. There are moments to make you chuckle and others that make you sigh.

Direction from Alastair Knights, with assistance from Jack McCann, makes use of the whole living room space. Pauses are well placed and, although a relatively short piece in itself, it neither feels rushed nor overly long with its 25-minute running time. Although, it does leave you wanting more - and it turns out Rattigan did later revise the text in a subsequent show, Duologue.

Short and sweet, but still manages to make your eyes prickle, this timely digital production of All On Her Own will likely resonate with more of us in this current lockdown than it might have done in the past.

All On Her Own is available online from 16 February

Photo credit: Danny Kaan

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