Bought And Sold Like Dolls: Gracie Explores Life Growing Up In A Religious Sect

Gracie, Finborough Theatre ★★★★☆

Bought And Sold Like Dolls: Gracie Explores Life Growing Up In A Religious Sect Gracie, Finborough Theatre 4

The coming-of-age story about downtrodden women in a religious sect in Canada, Gracie sounds like the next adapted Margaret Atwood drama to land in your Netflix recommendations list. But for now, it's home is on stage in a London corner boozer.

One woman, a plain dress, an even plainer curtain, and some lights on the floor. If it looks like it's been put together for just a few quid, that's because Joan MacLeod's play has lots to say about moral bankruptcy. It was inspired by the scandal-hit Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints — a polygamous offshoot of Mormonism in North America.

Gracie is played by Carla Langley; recently seen in the wonderful Ferryman at the Royal Court. She sensitively captures the fading innocence of an adolescent girl who's forced either to become an accessory to one of the community's male elders by becoming their latest wife — or else to rebel.

In this world, it's young women who are bought and sold like toy dolls — but the sect's shunning of males provides a worthwhile subplot, too. The play's scope is sometimes too wide to prove super-provocative. But even with limited means, this one-woman act is at all times an evocative watch with a serious acting talent in it.

Gracie, Finborough Theatre, Finborough Road, SW10 9ED, £16-£18, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, until 15 May

Last Updated 01 May 2018