Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl
Thurs 24 Jun
It would be easily to dismiss Carol Ann Duffy’s collection, The World’s Wife, as a feminist rant trying to counter the view that hardly any women did anything important in history. Yet, published in 1999, the work captures a significant moment in time, as Duffy settles the score by filling in the gaps that his-story left before the turn of the millennium. The historic significance of women is recognised, and their mythology is imagined with just as much passion and hyperbole as that for their male counterparts.
Performing this collection by the now-Poet Laureate is a very hard task indeed. With characters as diverse as Medusa, Pope Joan, Frau Freud and the Kray Sisters, the leaps of time and imagination are enormous. This feat is rendered especially difficult if the cast consists of just one woman. Yet Linda Marlowe gains mastery over this near-impossible task in her latest solo show. Her confident articulation brings the strength of a medieval knight and the power of an ancient king to these stories, and she even manages to add a twist of unmistakably feminine charm.
Marlowe is a storyteller with a difference, an elegant shape-shifter passing seamlessly from character to character and from century to century. Through this triumphant sprint through history, she teasingly strips her audience of any expectations and firmly proves that behind every great man in history there was a witty, intelligent and alluring woman.
(first published in Buzz)