Woman in Mind
Set in the garden of Susan Gannet's suburban English home, Woman in Mindis an unusual comedy told entirely from Susan's point of view. In the beginning of the play, Susan wakes from a nasty bump on the head to find her loving, rich and debonair family lavishing her with attention and pouring endless glasses of champagne. Shortly thereafter, we meet her other family: 'a stuffy and pompous husband, a strange priggish son and a self-martyred sister-in-law. Unfortunately for Susan, her ﬁrst family is a hallucination. The play becomes both hilarious and poignant as Susan begins to lose touch with reality. Her imaginary family make more and more frequent visits to her garden as she continues to question her role as wife to a solemn minister and mother to an uncommunicative son. Finally, her two worlds start to intertwine and lead Susan to the edge of insanity.
With Woman in Mind, Alan Ayckbourn has raised some important questions about the loneliness and discontent of the suburban middle-class without trivializing them. He is dealing with a very specific crisis in a woman's life and how that crisis affects the whole family. The contrast between Susan's two families is hilarious, yet it manages to bring Susan's dissatisfaction with her life to the surface.
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