NYR Box 10607
Based on the true story of Jane Juska.
Photo credit: http://www.paulinlondon.com/2011_11_20_archive.html
Cut and pasted from the ATG website:
Jane Juska placed an ad in The New York Review of Books which said 'Before I turn 67 – next March – I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me.'
She received 63 replies, from men aged between 32 and 84. A Round-Heeled Woman tells the real-life adventures of some of the encounters which resulted. Jane's courageous journey takes her through falling in love, some heartbreak, rejection and humiliation, a lot of laughs, and her first orgasm with a man after 30 years.
The play deals with the universally engaging themes of love, loss, personal empowerment, and the wisdom which comes with the passing years. And yes... sex.
Follow the link for all the details:
I have already spoken about my love for the TV show Cagney and Lacey. Whilst I loved both the female leads in the show, my personal favourite was always Christine Cagney (Sharon Gless). She was strong, gutsy, independent, single (this was important to me, as the show looked at her various encounters and adventures with a range of men) and an alcoholic (flawed). My feature on Cagney and Lacey is here:
I saw this show on Thursday 5 January. I had really wanted to see it all along, but ticket prices were high, then lastminute.com came to my rescue with best price seats for bargain prices and I snapped up a ticket.
Bottom-line - I LOVED THIS SHOW!
It was an honest and realistic portrayal of the highs and lows of the singles/dating scene - in this case the focus was personal ads, but the story could equally have applied to any form of internet dating.
Women who are 66, turning 67, of course have the same emotional and physical needs, including a desire for sex, as women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. The need for a soulmate, a partner, and, on a basic level, sex, does not diminish as you advance in age. It was great to be able to see Sharon play her own age, and yet still be the lead role, in a play looking at love, romance and sex.
The acting across the whole of the cast is outstanding, with all the actors (except Sharon) playing a range of characters. The actors were especially strong at portraying the various friendships in the piece.
I admired Jane's courage in placing the ad, putting herself out there, and persisting, despite some initial setbacks. The men she meets are many and varied, good and bad, and are typical of the very mixed bag you get through this form of dating.
Within the story about her romantic encounters, is the story of Jane and her son, what happened to damage their relationship, her quest for him, and the way that she finds and reconnects with him towards the end of the play.
The final aspect to the piece is Jane's love of Trollope and, specifically, the character of Miss Mackenzie. Miss Mackenzie appears several times in the piece, and the search for a marriage proposal and marriage in the 1800s is compared and contrasted with the search for love and sex in the 2000s. This is interesting. As two of my all time heros are Jane Eyre and Tess of the D'Urbervilles, I strongly connected with this aspect of the play.
The piece plays to all your emotions and is, at different points, funny, moving, touching, heart-breaking and gut-wrenching.
Sharon being the actress that she is, brings a real warmth to the role, and you are very much behind her and backing her.
The vast majority of the audience was women, who had come to see the show with their girlfriends, and the reception towards the show, and towards Sharon in particular, was very positive.
I was lucky enough to hear Sharon give a Q&A after the production. The nicest thing was when she said that she it had been her dream to put this on in London's West End, and she was really happy that she had been able to realise her ambition and aspiration for the project. Obviously this statement went down a storm amongst Londoners!
Highly highly HIGHLY recommended by me!
The production closes on 14 January so if you want to see it, you are going to have to get your tickets in now!
To close, I wanted to say thank you Sharon Gless for coming to London, to grace the London stage with your shining radiance.