Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Review: PATRICIA GETS READY (FOR A DATE WITH THE MAN WHO USED TO HIT HER), VAULT Festival

BWW Review: PATRICIA GETS READY (FOR A DATE WITH THE MAN WHO USED TO HIT HER), VAULT Festival BWW Review: PATRICIA GETS READY (FOR A DATE WITH THE MAN WHO USED TO HIT HER), VAULT Festival

Patricia has spent the past year recovering from an abusive relationship. She's had time to craft the speech she'd give to her ex and she's come to terms with her trauma. However, neither therapy nor time prepared her for the moment she accidentally bumped into him on the street, so now she's preparing to go to dinner with him.

Patricia Gets Ready is Martha Watson Allpress' first full-length play, and it's safe to say that it's an astounding debut for such a young playwright. She writes a poetic and piercing insight into the mind of an abused woman, tearing down the classic image of one. With honesty and candour, she gives a no holds barred account of her character's inside conflict. Through a reasoned stream of consciousness, she introduces a complex person who's unafraid to go past the stigma and fear of judgement.

Outstanding writing delivers the poignant retelling while actress Angelina Chudi is simply glorious as the title character. Directed by Kaleya Baxe with magnetic sensitivity, she handles the brutal tonal shifts with prowess and ease humanising the full disclosure confessional and opening up a discussion on grief and judgement. Watson Allpress' digressions might lighten the mood, but the painful undertones run through them like subterranean rivers.

Her strength of spirit underlines her vulnerability and Chudi's ultimate address to her abusive ex is a galvanising charge. With resolution and courage in her eyes, she hauls everything she's confided in the audience and hurls it at the world, making a stand for herself and acknowledging her worth. The mundanity of the course of their relationship combined with the likeability of the young woman are the backbone of the play's successful landing.

The character of Patricia (and therefore the piece) works because she doesn't have anything exceedingly special about her. She is our friend, our cousin, our niece. It's chilling to realise that we all might know a Patricia. As she discloses how she felt during the two years' worth of relationship, how in her head all the excuses and beatings made sense, and what it took to decide that it was wrong, Chudi swings between being exquisitely heartbreaking and millennially funny.

In a short hour, the audience is treated to the meticulous account of an ordinary abused mind. It's not an easy play to watch and its trigger warnings need to be recognised, but Patricia Gets Ready is essential viewing and the team behind is certainly one to watch closely.

Patricia Gets Ready (for a date with the man that used to hit her) runs at VAULT Festival until 9 February.


Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes, and More from Your Favorite Broadway Stars

Related Articles View More UK / West End Stories

From This Author Cindy Marcolina