Theatre Review: Florence – Ebb And Flo, Or If Life Gives You Pals, Make Palisades

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By BRUCE DENNILL

 

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Florence / Directed by Greg Homann / Barney Simon Theatre, Market Theatre, Newtown, Johannesburg      8.5

 

Superficially, Florence is a one-woman play examining the life and legacy of Florence Phillips, the apparently unstoppable arts patron, philanthropist and wife of mining magnate Sir Lionel Phillips. Playwright Myer Taub’s script celebrates her many achievements, but also reveals the many trials she faced – on account of her gender, her class, her marriage and more – in trying to realise her goals.

Extra layers are added by structuring the piece as a sort of melded conversation between the narratives of Phillips herself (unfolding in the late Ninteenth and early Twentieth centuries) and a modern-day actress charged with embodying all that Phillips had been and stood for (both played by Leila Henriques). To begin with, those parallel stories are relatively difficult to discern. But as it becomes apparent that there are two characters rather…

To read the complete pARTicipate review visit http://www.brucedennill.co.za/theatre-review-florence-ebb-and-flo-or-if-life-gives-you-pals-make-palisades/

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