The play opens to a scene of two ladies-of-a-certain-age recounting all the petty annoyances and mundanities that are recognisable to people in most long term relationships, a laundry list of irritating mannerisms and preferences that, after all, are the bread and butter of knowing and loving another person intimately. The two women are the Alices, Alice Slattery and Alice Kinsella and for the next eighty or so minutes you will find yourself drawn into a world that is the shared relationship and history of two women who, after a lifetime of invisibility, have chosen to reveal themselves to the world. As the play progresses the initial inventory of personal tics gives way to reveal an honest account of real love, love that is neither convenient nor shallow but instead an entity that carries with it strength to sustain in times of crisis and confusion.
I found myself re-evaluating my own prejudices and received wisdoms throughout the performance, why did I first giggle at the notion of two old ladies who were also lesbians? I don’t believe I am homophobic but initially it was such a new or unlikely scenario. We simply do not see this represented often enough. The sexualisation of society in general, and in particular the way in which women are commodified and labelled according to desirability, has paradoxically resulted in a sterile version of sexuality, a maddeningly narrow and paltry landscape. So while this play is about a lesbian couple it is also about all kinds of invisible people, who because of gender, age or not conforming to the preferred societal aesthetic are still out there living and loving. It’s a reminder of the life-affirming nature of love written with humour and tenderness but with an underlying radical message. – Claire Zwaartman, Glengarriff, Co. Cork, June 2013
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