Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Lady In Red Theatre Review

Tucked away in a darkened corner of the Nottingham Playhouse, the audience anticipation was tangible, as we waited for the psychological thriller we were promised.

As lights dimmed, the audience quietened. The stage lights gradually brightened, showing an untidy room containing a half-packed suitcase & a Lady In Red; dancing alone.

The central character Rose is played by Claire Moore, who is passionately committed to ending violence against women and girls. Claire's performance held the audience captive, her depiction of Rose was raw and emotional - she carried us with her on her journey; taking us through the highs and lows of her life and how her relationships had shaped it.

Rose tells us her story, through powerful words and shocking descriptions. The title tells us that the colour red will feature - and it does, with graphic emphasis:

'Blood on my fingers. Blood in my nose. Blood in my hair and blood on my clothes'.

Alongside the colour imagery, Rose describes her fear using powerful language and speculation about what the future may hold:

'What if he's watching, out there in the street?'

'He'd find us. He'll never leave us alone'

Rose tells us - with the help of her mother, and brother, why women don't 'just leave'.

'God knows why you stayed in this place for so long'

'After the first time, I said, "if you stay with that man, you'll rue the day... I can't understand you. Why did you stay?'

The production shocks us - as it is meant to. It makes us question - as it is meant to. It makes our hearts pound & our mouths dry - as, it is no doubt, meant to.

Maybe we are her brother. Maybe her mother. Some of us will be her husband. Many of us are likely to have been our own Lady In Red. It makes us wonder - how might we react if we were the Lady In Red?

In order not to spoil the experience of those who are yet to see the performance, no details of what happens on stage are to be revealed. Needless to say, it was a spectacular way to spend a Friday evening.

It showed, in dramatic fashion, why women don't 'just leave'. It gave an insight into the choices faced by women in abusive relationships - often the 'choices' are no choices at all.

The production was followed by a Q&A with the performance team - there were one or two men in the audience who clearly felt uncomfortable. As they were meant to.

Certain Curtain Theatre Company are an organisation based in the North West of England, offering issue-based theatre productions to challenge our values and beliefs. You can find out more about them here. You can follow them on Twitter here. You can buy a copy of the script here.

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