A Round-Heeled Woman (Aldwych Theatre)

Posted on December 4, 2011

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Wow, another last minute phone call and an invitation to see a play I’ve never heard of, but dinner and a show gets me out of the house every time. No expectations, some red wine and seats in Row G – a perfect addition to my Friday night I thought.

I was a little worried when I read the flyer to find out I was seeing a play about old people getting sexy. I’m into plenty of things, but geriatric nookie is not one of them. Thankfully my fears were unfounded and instead I had a genuinely fun night at the theatre.

A Round-Heeled Woman’ basically feels like it was written for me. Jumping into the Aldwych Theatre (filling the gap left by ‘Cool Hand Luke‘s departure), we have a smart, sexy piece of theatre. A comedy grounded in a very real, human story.

This is a fine, fresh piece of entertainment (a blend of my favourite bits of ‘Golden Girls’, ‘Cougartown’ and ‘Sex & The CIty’ if you will).

Sex in the 21st century has fueled many a play, but here we have an angle that feels fresh & honest, driven by a remarkably frank and textured performance by Sharon Gless (funnily it says a lot about the audience that at the bar, the older crowd referred to her as Cagney from ‘Cagney & Lacey‘, while the younger audience recognised her more for her work on the American TV series ‘Queer As Folk‘).

The tale of a woman in her 60s discovering the world of no strings attached sex, ‘Round Heeled-Woman‘ is raw & explicit, not in its depiction of sex (don’t panic, no wrinkly bits on show here) but in the emotional components of sex & relationships.

The script is witty in its honesty, and while this isn’t the most finessed text, it works because it in grounded in honesty. The premise sounds crass and tacky, but the execution is anything but.

Michael Thomson does some fine work here playing various roles (ranging from her son, to a paramour, to a dance instructor).

This is no classic piece of theatre, in fact it feels slightly out of place on the West End (I imagine it would play better back at Riverside where it started) – the fact that half the stalls were blacked out probably didn’t help that impression, but this is a fine, fresh piece of entertainment (a blend of my favourite bits of ‘Golden Girls‘, ‘Cougartown‘ and ‘Sex & The CIty‘ if you will).

I found myself genuinely laughing out loud, smiling at the triumphs, gasping at the shocks – I was fully invested in this story.

It’s no Shakespeare but it is a hugely enjoyable & heart-warming piece of theatre, and gives us all hope we’ll still have meaningful relationships (and yes, that includes sex) in our latter years as well!

Rating: Like a crystal ball showing my future, this one is for women everywhere.

Posted in: Play