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Finborough Theatre presents the European Premiere


a new play by new multi-award winning American playwright, now Playwright in Residence for the Finborough

Bekah Brunstetter


You May Go Now – A Marriage Play


Director: Ellie Browning


Finborough Theatre


7 March – 22 March 2010








A review by Angus Templeton for EXTRA! EXTRA!


Betty and Dottie are a perfect mother and daughter unit, albeit with a few rough edges. Dottie has imparted all the pearls of wisdom she knows – teaching Betty everything there is to know about being a 1950’s housewife. It’s a shame it’s 2010.

Bekah Brunstetter’s new play is a close look at the darker side of marriages, and what motivates people in relationships. Her writing is witty and eloquent, combining exactly the right amount of ‘50’s homilies with modern world weariness into a patter which feels refreshingly unique.

The Finborough is known for creating excellent theatre, and this is definitely no exception. The action takes place in a small fiftiesesque kitchenette with the audience spread out around three sides, giving it an incredibly intimate feel. This was an excellent choice on behalf director Ellie Browning, as you feel as if you’re not just watching the action, but are in the middle of it.

You May Go Now is about marriage, but it’s also about grief. Dottie, played by Lucy Newman-Williams, is a much more complex character than we first suppose. If we take her at face value, then all we see is the bright and cheery housewife. But as the play progresses the façade cracks and we get to see the true person underneath. This is beautifully juxtaposed by Florence Hall’s Betty, who is young, vivacious, slightly ditzy, and cheerily damaged by an over controlling mother.

The play very much feels like an Anachronism Stew… the 1950’s costumes and décor clash with some of the modern language, and especially with the character of Phillip, who enters suddenly towards the end of the first act. It is then that we start to see the cracks in the relationship between Bettie and Dotty – though they work fine together as a team, introducing any kind of outside influence upsets their tranquility – with disastrous results.

You May Go Now is less about marriage, as the title suggests, and more about letting go. It’s a modern (dark) parable on closure – Dottie refuses to embrace change, trying to be the perfect wife for a marriage long since dissolved. And Betty, while scared, is looking forward to new horizons and moving on.

There were a couple of jarring moment within the play, but they were slight aberrations in what was otherwise an excellent performance. And do not forget that it is incredibly funny – for all the serious themes the show possesses.



You May Go Now – A Marriage Play runs on Sunday and Monday nights until the 22nd of March.


0844 847 1652

Finborough Theatre
118 Finborough Road, London, SW10 9ED













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