ED2022 4/5 Reviews ED2022 Theatre Reviews

Pauline (Sophie Bentinck)

By | Published on Monday 15 August 2022

This is another strong solo show. Though autobiographical it seeks understanding of previous generations and to give them a rightful place in the public world. Pauline, author Sophie Bentick’s grandmother, is the vividly-drawn central figure. Self-willed to the point of notoriety, her newly-found secret diary shows sharp insight into her ultimately destructive avoidance strategies. It is husband Henry who (we infer) has the easier route to finding and expressing his personal identity. Anna, Sophie’s mother, is less clearly drawn, partly reflecting her descent into Alzheimer’s just as Sophie reaches that point in her life when she wants to ask previously unasked questions. Funny as well as poignant, this show suggests that lives can be joyfully illuminated whilst remaining fundamentally enigmatic.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 29 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Alan Cranston]