Review: Bag Lady, Hallam Student, Union HUBS

Bag Lady'Marcia Layne (writer) Flo Wilson (performer) and Amanda Huxtable (director) ''photo by Alexandru Boicu
Bag Lady'Marcia Layne (writer) Flo Wilson (performer) and Amanda Huxtable (director) ''photo by Alexandru Boicu
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Eve, a middle-aged black woman 
sorting through her old clothes, finds herself talking to herself about her life and its struggles and sadnesses, the basis of this fascinating one-woman show that sadly only had one performance in Sheffield.

She says that she isn’t homeless but perhaps she’s in denial about that. Life certainly isn’t a bed of roses.

What becomes clear is that Eve has been left alone in life to brood on her lot and she has plenty to be angry about.

Actress Flo Wilson makes sure that Marcia Layne’s beautiful words are used to their maximum effect and the effect is often mesmerising.

For instance: “Memory is precious. Yours, mine, the phone.

“Just need to know when to press delete.”

This show was performed as part of both the Off the Shelf literary festival and Black History Month and Sheffield writer Marcia cleverly weaves in many aspects of the black experience in Britain and further afield.

Eve touches upon racism, slavery and mixed relationships but the effect is never preachy.

It’s clear that Eve is isolated and has struggled to keep touch with her son and others close to her but equally she may have pushed them away.

She’s an angry woman but she has the right to be angry.

She is also very funny at times and some of her words, which occasionally were delivered in no-nonsense fashion West Indian slang, were met with delighted laughter from the black women in the audience.

The show was very well directed and worked well and Flo Wilson’s performance was brilliant but perhaps it lacks a little narrative that might have made the play’s message even clearer.

Nonetheless, the audience were made only too aware that strong black women have the right to be angry – and rightly so.