All on Her Own at the Garrick Theatre
All on Her Own is the introductory play in a double bill of Terence Rattigan’s work, performed by Kenneth Branagh’s Branagh Theatre Company at the start of a year-long series of plays at the Garrick Theatre. It is a short one-woman monologue, where she explores the repressed and unaddressed emotions regarding the death of her late husband. It would seem that they were from different worlds, with different priorities in life, yet their love cemented them together. She questions whether that was enough.
This is one of Rattigan’s later plays, from the period when his theatrical style was considered outdated. With the privilege of time between this modern interpretation and its original reception, it is hard to see why it wasn’t more popular. It demonstrates Rattigan’s ability to delve into the human psyche and the complicated reactions a person can have to death.
Zoe Wannamaker as Rosemary Hodge runs the gamut of emotions when going through the conversations she never had with her husband. She laughs, laments and longs for him and their relationship, but also for the one that they could have had, had they been more honest.
She is flawless, happily displaying all these emotions and holding the audience’s attention completely. She is expressive and funny, with a dark humour that at times masks her loss, but is also a form of desolate release.
She switches seamlessly between her husband’s gruff, Northern voice and sensibilities speaking through her, and then her own. Even her posture changes when she speaks as him: she seems more assured. Speaking as herself, she appears as a woman who is finally able to release the feelings that have been pent-up in her stiff upper lip for too long. This is a perfect build-up to the comedic farce Harlequinade that follows, setting the scene for a comedy but also examining what lies beneath our facades.
Sharp and cleverly written, All on Her Own is humorous yet also dark and harrowing exploration of relationships and humanity.
Photo: Johan Persson
All on Her Own is on at the Garrick Theatre from 24th October until 13th January, for further information or to book visit here.