Two monologues – two lonely and embittered women

Two monologues – two lonely and embittered women

Robert Tanitch reviews Ivy & Joan at Jermyn Street Theatre, London SW1

Two of James Hogan’s one-act plays are being revived in a double-bill directed by Anthony Biggs. Ivy & Joan are two quite separate stories, two rambling monologues for two lonely and embittered women.

Hogan is the founder of Oberon Books, one of the main publishers of modern plays in the UK. The scripts are in the manner of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads and both women are acted by Lynne Miller.

Ivy, a sour gossip, who has worked all her life in the cocktail bar of a Blackpool hotel, has just got the sack. Hotel owners and staff are only too glad to see the back of her.

JRobert Tanitch logooan has been on holiday with her husband in Venice where she flirted with a middle-aged gigolo and spent a lot of money taking him to the opera. Her husband decides it’s time for them to part and he packs her off to a psychiatric clinic.

Lynne Miller does most of the talking. Jack Klaff is cast firstly as a waiter, who has spent all his money on betting, and then as the husband.

Ivy & Joan would work better if they were seen on two separate occasions and in a double bill which offered more of a contrast.

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