It is 1958, and the final debutante 'season'. Mary, a brilliant young writer and critic is befriended by Geraldine, a seemingly friendly young debutante of a similar age but a very ... See full summary »

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Mary Gilbert / Geraldine
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It is 1958, and the final debutante 'season'. Mary, a brilliant young writer and critic is befriended by Geraldine, a seemingly friendly young debutante of a similar age but a very different background. What starts as a friendship becomes something altogether more unsettling. Written by Anonymous

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monologue | See All (1) »

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10 November 2007 (UK)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Spin-off Capturing Mary (2007) See more »

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So much more than a monologue
11 November 2007 | by (Rural Kent, UK) – See all my reviews

Two thirds of the way through the Poliakoff triptych based on the life and times of a large London house, it's possible that this, the shortest piece, an afterthought, may be the most memorable.

A Real Summer starts like one of those Alan Bennett Talking Heads monologues actresses used consider murdering each other to get into. Then, like Poliakoff's unspoken contention that the world changed in 1958, the outside world intrudes, and something happens which re-colours and changes everything that went before The tone is initially elegiac, confiding, reassuring, then disturbing, before descending into almost tragic foreboding.

Anyone who still doubts Ruth Wilson's talent may feel the odd twinge in the first 10 minutes. The odd gesture and accent is slightly uncertain at first, possibly intentionally, there's even a script goof left in, but after the last 10 minutes you won't remember those. You won't even remember Poliakoff's name or Joe's Palace.

All you'll be worried about is what you can see Wilson in next and how long you'll have to wait.

I don't feel I can say more without spoiling the treat. Poliakoff has given her the ideal showcase for her enormous talent here and she rises to the challenge. Memorably.


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