All Wrapped Up in Westwood

reviewed at The Undercroft, Peterborough on 29 October

This is the latest in Eastern Angles’ plays based on archival and spoken evidence – an example of the company’s own unique brand of drama-documentary. Freemans Catalogue Distribution Centre operated in Peterborough between 1969 and 2009 and its (largely female) employees were instrumental in initiating equal pay reforms.

Queen-pin of the story as written by Ivan Cutting is Edie (Jan Wright) who became the union’s shop steward. We also enter the lives of various of her colleagues, notably  Mandy (Kat Cushman) who tragically miscarries and Aisha (Summer Mooed) who works for Freeman having discovered that her secretarial skills are outweighed by her brown skin.

Suzanne Tuck as Kath, Rubin Carter as Liz and Michelle Scott as Susan also give good performances. Fiona Rigler has designed a suitably open and somewhat bleak set for Poppy Rowley’s production, which keeps the action on the move as the years pass, people come and go and new owners take over putting more emphasis on profitability than on personnel.

In many ways, this is a site-specific production, if you take “site” to be a place or even a city rather than an individual building or piece of open ground. Peterborough itself is an amalgam of the old and the new. Outreach ventures such as Eastern Angles’ local productions help to cement the two more firmly.

Three and a half-star rating.

All Wrapped Up in Westwood runs at The Undercroft, Serpentine Green, Peterborough until 5 November. There are matinée performances on 4 and 5 November.

 

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Filed under Plays, Reviews 2017

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