Collective Rage: A Humorous Yet Poignant Exploration Of Rage And Belonging
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Jen Silverman’s Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties explores the lives of five women (Sara Stewart, Lucy McCormick, Beatriz Romilly, Johnnie Fiori and Genesis Lynea) who all happen to share that name. They are a disparate group, but all have their issues whether these be rage, loneliness or a need to be known and loved. Above all, however, each wants to be free from societal expectations.
The successive scenes see the women’s worlds collide as they rehearse a play and go on voyages of self-discovery as they seek to express themselves. Sex and sexuality are important to them, and talk of it does in truth generate many of the evening’s laughs. However, no-one is reduced to being a stereotype as everyone is searching to belong, and for acceptance as the person they really are.
Because the story is essentially told through vignettes, with the plot itself being quite flimsy, the set-up and conclusion feel stronger than the middle, which can sag and seem a little aimless. Nevertheless, the play possesses enough of a feel-good factor to make for a fun evening out, but never sugar coats things to an unrealistic degree. In fact, the ending is extremely poignant as it suggests that things don’t always work out for everyone.
Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties, Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, SE1 6BD. £16-20, until 17 February 2018
Last Updated 30 January 2018