Bea is just like any other young woman in her late twenties – or at least she would be if she weren’t trapped in a body that can barely move. For the last eight years she’s been confined to the same bed in the same room and she can’t kid herself that she’s going to get better.

Bea’s body may have let her down, but mentally she’s as alert as ever – and she knows she’s had enough. Initially, the extent of Bea’s disability isn’t apparent – we see her interacting with her mother and her new carer in the way she’d like to behave if only her body would still let her.

But playwright Mick Gordon (who has already tackled such serious subjects as religion and emotion with his On Theatre company) doesn’t shrink from portraying the full impact of her illness. And his play raises (even if it doesn’t fully explore) important issues – how far is her barrister mother (Paula Wilcox) prepared to go to help her daughter?

Is quality of life necessary to go on living? And, incidentally, why is there no single word in the English language to define a bereaved parent? Yet much of the time his play is both entertaining and very funny as Pippa Nixon’s Bea teases her Belfast care assistant (Al Weaver’s Ray who’s obviously gay but says he’s not) about his sexuality.

Like all Gordon’s work, this intimate investigation into the limits of compassion and empathy is well worth a visit.


Soho Theatre, Dean Street, W1D 3NE
020 7478 0100
Tube: Tottenham Court Road
Until 8th January
£12.50 – £20.00

– Louise Kingsley