Ladies Who Lunch, Norwich

JOHN LAWSON It doesn't need to be a special occasion to “do lunch” – especially for today's career woman.


It doesn't need to be a special occasion to “do lunch” – especially for today's career woman.

But the three-strong cast of local writer-director Antoinette Moses's play make it special for the audience.

This one-act 45-minute treat sees Kate, Val and Jane, all facing up to crises in their lives, discussing their problems over coffee and designer salads.

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Kate (Jude Wyatt) has just lost her husband, the business partner of Val (Angela Goymer) and Jane (Diane Bullamore). But they have losses of their own.

Val's husband is a serial adulterer who expects her to be the perfect wife for his business deals. Jane, unfulfilled by her husband, is cutting herself off from their child because of her own business commitments.

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When Val helps save said child by being the only one able to talk with Jane's panicking Spanish childminder via a mobile phone, the story takes an unexpected twist. It's a twist which gives them a new outlook on their lives and they finish lunch better off than when they arrived.

The interplay is delightful in the type of overlapping conversation we have all overheard at the next table.

Val has the pick of the comic lines, but I particularly enjoyed Kate's description of the aging process: “The wrinkles start under your eyes and slowly drift down your face until you look like a baked apple.”

The situation is neatly observed and played at a well-judged pace, with some lovely moments of stagecraft.

Lunchtime theatre at the Maddermarket is a great new attraction and it will surely become the venue for us all to “do lunch”.

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