Saw the new play Fast, by Kate Barton, because I heard about it on Woman`s Hour, and it sounded fascinating. My sister, visiting, decided not to accompany us because the subject matter was too depressing, and indeed it was. But also – interesting. A true story, about a so-called Dr Linda Hazzard, who was an `alternative health` practitioner at the turn of the last century. Two English sisters (this really happened) somehow got themselves admitted into her sanatorium in Boston. They lived on pieces of celery and asparagus for a few weeks. One of them got out alive.
The play was well-researched but it was one of those plays that made me want to know about the real character, and didn`t lead me, the way theatre sometimes does, into the heart of emotion combined with reflection… I wasn`t moved to pity, to understand, or even to be over-interested in its characters. But I saw their predicaments, and wished them well – apart from Dr Hazzard, who was hard to like. I googled that the real Dr Hazzard (she wasn`t a real doctor, but I mean the real woman who called herself Dr Hazzard,) had a booming voice. SO did the actor who played her – powerful, and indeed booming. A tiny bit too booming actually, for my front row hearing….
Still, a young writer who has already won prizes at Cambridge, and certainly some slick putting together of scenes, research, and no over-writing. Lots of short or shortish lines.