Five Women Wearing The Same Dress

Five Women Wearing The Same Dress
By Alan Ball. Directed Jason Nash. New Farm Nash Theatre. May 12 to June 3, 2023

This play is like a time capsule of the 1990’s, a time of vastly changing attitudes to so many things such as relationships. It shows us how the women of the period adapt to the changes both in attitudes and the language that is so much more open.  These five women were all bridesmaids to a bride they don’t particularly like and spend the wedding day hiding out in the bedroom of the bride’s sister. This is when the audience learns so much about each of the women – and it was not all good even if very entertaining. Oh, they were not wearing the same dress – an impossibility – but the dresses were similar, in contrast to the wearers.

The bedroom was very basic, as expected, but it did allow the ladies to look through the window to glance at the wedding reception in the courtyard below. This enabled the various reactions to the wedding to stimulate more revelations between them.  They certainly did not like the bride who had them dress that way.  Thus, there was free movement throughout the performance that was well directed by Jason Nash. His choice in his casting was equally good as the cast was good, with a couple outstanding. Lillian Dowdell, as Francis, was great as the only religious one of the group, who is the most challenged by the dialogue of the others. She conveyed this really well. The role of the bride’s sister, Meredith, came to life fully through the performance of Kristina Redwood in a wide ranging, soul revealing character who found the whole situation challenging. Which bride’s sister hides in her bedroom during a wedding? Meg Bennett, Jessica Fletcher and Kate Rohde were the other strong female cast members but perhaps Trisha’s character needed a bit more clarity at times. Stefan Jordana completed the team.

Congratulations to the production team for such a great night at the theatre. Nash Theatre has maintained its very high standards under the control of this director Jason Nash. Well worth a visit to see Five Women.

William Davies

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