Shared by Paul Kenny

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Wireless Theatre Company, November 2011
Following her husband Richard's death from cancer, Patricia (Rula Lenska) makes the shocking discovery that he had been having a five-year-long affair with Vanessa (Jenny Runacre). The news devastates her; throughout her entire married life she believed that they had been faithful to one another. Vanessa meets Patricia by Richard's grave; at first the grieving widow refuses to acknowledge Vanessa's presence in her husband's life, but as the play progresses, Patricia gradually allows herself to hear some home truths about their marriage, and why Richard chose to have an affair in the first place.
Patricia's daughter Becky (Vicky Holmes), a university student at home on compassionate leave, helps her mother come to terms with the past. Unlike Patricia - whose belief in the marriage vows ("for richer, for poorer, for better or for worse, forsaking all others") lies at the heart of her existence, Becky offers a more flexible view of relationships, based on give and take. As time progresses, so people change: Richard and Patricia were not the same people who went to the altar thirty years previously. To prevent further heartache, Becky tells her mother to reflect on the past, and use that experience to shape her present and her future. Patricia complies; and by doing so begins to understand Vanessa's role in her husband's life. At the end of the play Patricia and Vanessa meet in the garden created by Richard; and Patricia gives Vanessa some cuttings - a lasting memory of a person who enriched both their lives. 
Paul Kenny's play vividly dramatized the heartache experienced by anyone discovering something about their loved ones that they did not know before. By doing so he showed how past, present and future exist as a living presence in every individual's life; to understand this helps to define one's place in the world. Once Patricia appreciated this, she could learned how to share things - experiences, as well as material objects - even with those people whom she once despised.
The two leading performers - Lenska and Runacre - complemented one another admirably. At the beginning Runacre's Vanessa seemed to be the stronger character, who was determined to lay claim to Richard's memory; but as the play progressed, this strength proved nothing but a facade. Unlike Patricia, Vanessa could never enjoy the emotional side of her relationship. Lenska's Patricia was driven to the depths of despair, but as the action progressed, she acquired an inner strength and determination to live her own life, in spite of her bereavement. In the end she was providing emotional support for Vanessa.
Chloe Faine directed a powerful production, with the exchanges between the two leading performers proving particularly affecting.