"Equally Divided" by Ronald Harwood, directed Alan Foale October 20-23, 2021
Adel Players were delighted to welcome back our patrons to the hall at AWMA after such a long break. In light of the ongoing pandemic we felt it essential to implement a range of safety measures (see below) but it was great to hear feedback that this did not spoil the enjoyment for our audience members. Bearing in mind the uncertainty regarding whether the show could go ahead when planned, particular thanks are due to all in the cast and crew, not least our Director (Alan Foale) for their patience and persistence in bringing it all together. And of course our thanks as always to loyal patrons for their support.
Do you believe in Justice? Can Justice be achieved by breaking the law?
These two questions are at the heart of Ronald Harwood’s play ‘Equally Divided. A play with plenty of laughs yet a powerful moral tale for our time.
Edith has sacrificed her life to care for her mother for the last fifteen years, she is unmarried and unloved. Meanwhile her sister, Renata, glamorous and married several times, has spent her life doing exactly what she pleased and has never lifted so much as a finger to help.
The play opens after the funeral of their mother, and Edith is waiting for the reading of the will – she is determined to get her just desserts. Into the mix is thrown Charles, the family solicitor, who has always had a soft spot for Renata and Fabian, a disarmingly dishonest antique dealer.
Review of "Equally Divided"
Our thanks to Donna Shoesmith-Evans for this review of our latest show:
It is always a pleasure to attend a production by Adel Players, but the performance of ‘Equally Divided’ was even more delightful, given the events of the past 18 months and the fact that live indoor performance could once again return.
We were, as usual, privy to a wonderful set and show and were left pondering various moral questions in life, particularly on whether justice can be achieved by breaking the law.
In brief, Edith stays at home looking after mother, whilst Renata goes out and lives her life. Mother may not be worth much, but a note she writes shortly before her death gives Edith hope that her years of sacrifice, in looking after her mother, may not have been in vain – but where is this note and what exactly does it confirm? Add a solicitor called Charles and a slightly shady antiques dealer called Fabian, and we had an evening to brighten the October gloom.
With just four characters throughout, superb performances held the show together – and the lead character of Edith, played by Jane Claire, was exceptional. With monologues to her friend Doreen on the telephone, as well as her hopes and fears being expressed in conversation, Edith was a convincing character who expressed the disappointments she had experienced in life.
Her sister, Renata, had led a full life, with husbands, money and movement around the world – such a contrast to the life of Edith. The two sisters were very different – and their conversation and interplay highlighted this. Janet Porter played this lively role and her scenes with Charles, the solicitor, in particular added comedy and entertainment.
Chris Winstanley, new to Adel Players, played the role of Charles – a solicitor who as a widower, was clearly very enamoured with Renata, much to the chagrin of Edith. Charles was not perhaps as honest as a solicitor could have been and the moral questions were raised within the play, linked to his behaviour and responses.
Antiques dealer Fabian, was played by David Lancaster – and it was wonderful to see him play a shrewd character who made Edith think about the reality of life and what could be done to help her situation moving forward. His knowledge of the world impacted upon Edith significantly.
With a set that was based in one room, the story moved through the course of one day, and various aspects of the 1990’s set were used to highlight the impact that parents had had and continued to have on their daughters.
A much enjoyed evening – and the next production of Talking Heads by Alan Bennett is scheduled for Weds 19-22 January. Book your seats early!
P.S. Adel Players had done their audience research and used it to plan for a “safe” return which enabled us to relax and enjoy the evening. This included the purchase of two air purifier machines, two CO2 monitors, and the hall was as well ventilated as possible prior to each performance. In addition audience numbers were restricted - 50 rather than 120 usually accommodated for “theatre in the round” productions, as this was. Add in a one-way system, masks worn by the audience when moving around and being served refreshments to our seats – we all felt very pampered!