On Saturday afternoon a group of writers from the Arvon course I attended last November gathered in the foyer of the Almeida Theatre to see David Eldridge's play, 'Knot of the Heart.' David was our tutor. His play examines relationships within a dysfunctional middle class family-a family of addicts. The main character, Lucy, loses her job in the media for being caught taking drugs. Her life sinks as she becomes addicted to heroin. Her mother is an alcoholic. Her sister cuts herself. The play explores the co-dependent relationship between Lucy and her mother, who in her efforts to look after Lucy becomes her pimp. By the end of the play, Lucy's been off heroin for a year and managed to move far away from her mother to South Africa.
Interesting subject material and well written dialogue. Overall, our group gave the play the thumbs up and felt the trip to London was well worth it. However, I'm not sure if it was the acting or the direction, but there was little build up of tension, most of the action was played at the top of the anguish range, and Lucy's character lacked empathy so I found it quite hard to really stay engaged with her. At times the behaviour of the mother's character was not always convincing, but she was challenging and has stayed with me. She did also make me wonder if in the efforts to look after my children, the way I sometimes behave may be meeting my own needs and not always be in their long term good.
David has another new play, 'Stock Da'Wa', directed by Kathy Burke, on at the Hampstead Theatre until mid May.