REVIEW: After Electra, Chesil Theatre, Winchester

The attempted suicide, stroke and death of Virgie (Mary Mitchell), artist and mother (very much in that order) might seem an odd subject matter for a comedy but the superb writing and fly-on-the-wall view of a dysfunctional family provided many laugh out loud moments.

Mitchell was perfect as the suicidal feminist and her second act monologue was flawless. During said rant she spat out her resentments towards her friends and family, with repressed daughter Hayden (Sarah Andrews) stoically bearing the brunt.

The entire cast were brilliant and the minimalist set allowed them to shine. The unharmoniously married couple Sonia (Dee Jones) and Tom (Noel Thorpe-Tracey), provided a palpable discord and sister Shirley (Karen Fitzsimmons), played entitled with impeccable insincerity.

The play held the attention and moved at speed to its many levelled tragic conclusion. To have produced something so visceral, surely takes a director (Peter Andrews) with vision and talent.

Rebecca Case