As much as I really like Genevieve Lemon, I didn’t enjoy “My Brilliant Divorce”, tonight at the Playhouse Theatre in Perth, which probably puts me in stark contrast to the rest of the audience which really seemed to love it.
The play, a ninety minute monologue, about Angela, who is a middle aged mother of one, who is recently divorced from the man she refers only to as “the roundhead” because, as she says, it wasn’t until after he left her that she realised how some things could really annoy her, such as how round his dead was. In just ninety minutes, we were taken over a three year period in which she goes through periods of anger, a desire for revenge and attempts at finding a new relationship.
Although I’ve been through a similar experience myself – without the child, of course – and although I know people who’ve been there and done that, I never related to Angela at all. Although I thought Lemon played the character for all it was worth, I didn’t think the character itself was interesting enough to sustain a 90 minute monologue. Unlike similar characters, Shirley Valentine and Rita (Educating Rita), for me the character of Angela was too one-dimensional. With the exception of the very end of the play, Angela was always the wise-cracker with a smile – we never saw her go through the gut-wrenching tears of divorce – which didn’t really satisfy me. That said, everyone else around me had a joyous old time.