Millennial Doublespeak And Flawed Characters Across Three Generations

3 Women, Trafalgar Studios ★★★☆☆

By Johnny Fox Last edited 7 months ago

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Millennial Doublespeak And Flawed Characters Across Three Generations 3 Women, Trafalgar Studios 3
Photo: Charlie Round-Turner

When you see such a realistically dated four-star hotel suite in Trafalgar Studios, you’ll think ‘oh, good, Katy Brand is going to satirise everything about sixties’ drawing room comedy’.

Instead of which, she’s written one.

In 3Women, three generations of women are holed up in a hotel room the night before the middle one’s settling-for-second-best wedding: it’s like Radio 4 sitcom After Henry except Brand has drawn them more flawed.

Photo: Charlie Round-Turner

Debbie Chazen’s chaotic Suzanne has turned to crystals, flowing garments and credit card debt and poor Maisie Richardson-Sellers as student daughter Laurie is obliged by the text to be a mixed-race, gender-fluid mouthpiece for every Generation Z soundbite, from her trans boyfriend James to endorsing test tube babies to spare wear and tear on wombs.

You’ll warm best to grandmother Eleanor — a clockspring of a woman, wound so tight you can practically feel her clenched sphincter in Anita Dobson’s immaculately-observed and timed interpretation. She can’t even tug at her neat little jacket without it meaning something, it’s a really fine performance.

Photo: Charlie Round-Turner

Trouble is, nobody seems to believe what the characters are saying, least of all Brand herself. The Millennial doublespeak in the mouth of the student is massively unconvincing, especially when her ardent feminism is undermined by a fumbled cunnilingual encounter with the young room-service waiter.

3Women, Trafalgar Studios, Whitehall, SW1. Tickets £20-30, until 9 June 2018.  

Last Updated 23 May 2018