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A Woman Of Uncertain Age

    by Maggie Dealey


     

Winner - Best New Writing  : Buxton Festival Fringe 2003 


Synopsis

This one woman show follows Ruth, a middle-aged single mother, on her train journey to introduce her infant daughter (Eve) to her grown-up son (Ben). The audience follows the story through Ruth’s conversations with her infant daughter, her fellow passengers and, played as voice-overs, her inner thoughts ... which are quite often at odds with her outer utterances.

Ruth has been isolated for some weeks and pours out her heart to one sympathetic listener after another. We learn how Eve’s father, Adam (“… a bit corny, isn’t it? Calling his daughter Eve? Especially as the sin wasn’t all that original…”) has disappeared from the scene after hasty words were spoken and how Ruth is struggling to come to terms with loneliness and unexpected motherhood. Ruth’s unplanned pregnancy revealed cracks in the relationship: “We looked at it so differently. For me, putting down roots meant depth and fertile soil: the opportunity for blossom. For him it meant mud and entanglement and a rolling stone covered in moss…”

Men are definitely still on her mind. In fact, she can’t seem to get them out of her mind (“…does anyone else find charcuterie incredibly suggestive?”) but as a “woman of uncertain age with someone else’s baby” she doesn’t expect to be able to any more than “look and lust”. Even this lands her in trouble on the journey. After a series of mishaps and adventures she arrives at the terminus: “…of course I know what it means, I did Latin O level I’ll have you know”. She’s not on the train she should have been on and she doesn’t have quite as much luggage as she set off with, but at least she’s there. As she looks along the platform for her son she discovers that Ben is not the only one waiting to meet her...


Duration

35 mins approx

Character

Ruth - a middle-aged single mother

     


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