How To Be An Other Woman

Natalie Abrahami’s adaptation of American writer and academic Lorrie Moore’s 1985 cautionary tale proves playful and attractive even if it fails to yield any fresh insight into a situation that will be uncomfortably familiar to far too many.

Four actresses (in identical black skirts and white blouses) share all the roles including that of Charlene, a New York secretary who buys an expensive beige raincoat from a swanky store and, after “four movies, three concerts and two-and-a-half museums” is totally seduced by the stranger with a confident swagger who stopped to ask her for a light.

A simple set of racks, hangers, coats and shoes is effectively transformed from boutique to street and to the bedroom where Charlene first sees the photo of the other other woman who is already firmly established in this rotter’s life. Following the inevitable trajectory of so many affairs, Abrahami’s fluid, physical production is all over in less than an hour – a swift, elegant portrayal of the pursuit of a doomed dream enhanced by carefully chosen music, deftly choreographed movement and an understanding of what it is like to be the one who isn’t in control.

Gate, Pembridge Road W11 3HQ
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Tube: Notting Hill Gate
Until 2nd October

Review: Louise Kingsley