21 October 2023
3.0 out of 5.0 stars
The Confessions is a portrait of an ordinary life, highlighting that everyone has a story worth being told.
Alice, an old woman in her late sixties, enters the stage before the curtain opens, insisting that she is not interesting, and that she is intrinsically ordinary. But when we are swept back to her youth in 1950s Australia, to the arrangement of a marriage her mother encourages her to settle into despite young Alice’s protestations, we’re transported into an extraordinarily ordinary life of a woman struggling to find her place in the world. Struggling against a stale marriage she never wanted in the first place, finding new hope when she meets a poet who teaches her that her life is hers to forge, and eventually moving to Britain to start another completely new chapter of her life. From freeing herself of familial and societal expectations in her 20s, to starting a family in her 40s, Alice’s life may not stand out in comparison with her peers, but it is a deeply touching depiction of a woman finding herself and making her life her own.
The character of Alice is based on playwright Alexander Zeldin’s mother, and other women her age. The play draws an incredible portrait of womanhood from the 50s to today. Relatable in its mundanity, filled to the brim with experiences most women will resonate with, it’s a beautiful story that really highlights how every life is worth being turned into a story for the rest of the world to see. It doesn’t always have to be the extraordinary portrayed on stage, sometimes an ordinary life, staged in a passionate and touching way, is a poignant performance well worth your time.