A Woman Alone, Theatre Review. The Casa, Liverpool. Liverpool Fringe Festival.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

Cast: Mikyla Jane Durkan.

Imprisonment it seems is not only for the guilty, for those whose crimes against society are numerous and devastating, but in the eyes of some men there are those who should be imprisoned against their will for their own safety.

Society demands imprisonment for those who steal, murder, maim, spread hate and yet society never seems to lift a finger of warning to those who seek to deny women the opportunity to leave the house, to expect them to stay in, who lock the doors and keep them kept but also keep them from those they love and the pastimes they enjoy; it is not so much imprisonment as it is the start of the unravelling of the mind and the cruelty that comes with it.

In Dario Fo and Franca Rama’s monologue, A Woman Alone, imprisonment is to be seen as that beginning, a confession waiting to happen, to spill out and the end result is one that all parties to such injustice should fear.

As part of the inaugural Liverpool Fringe Festival, Burjesta Theatre brought the comic grotesque idea of female subjugation to the very forefront of the audience’s attention. In the wonderful Mikyla Jane Durkan, the sense of a woman not only falling apart at such actions, the madness spilling over as she deals with a groping brother-in-law, a needful baby and a pervert of a neighbour watching her every move whilst all the time locked in a small flat, is enlarged and enraged, the very movement of her actions are one of sincere psychosis and in the eyes, those windows to the very soul, are transformed into the reflection of flowering hate and female anarchy.

To capture the spiralling madness that any person would show if they were confined to a place which was not of their making is a hard ask for any actor, it is very much of the mind rather than the physical properties that can be normally framed with ease, yet Ms. Durkan punishes the stage with her rampant wit and the mental objectification to the society, of all shapes and creeds, that allows women to be used in such a despicable way.

A beautiful piece of theatre which showcases Dario Fo and Franca Rama’s work wonderfully.

Ian D. Hall