The third and final play for this weekend was Floral Notes, also at Circa.
Floral Notes was a charming and poignant production. It was a smile silently rather than a laugh out large affair. Probably a play that appeals more to the older theatre-goer, who will relate to the characters and plot. Having said that, I still found it an enjoyable experience.
It is a two woman show, with Geraldine Brophy and Jane Keller playing two former pen pals who resume their correspondence after a forty year break. Brophy plays the widowed Kiwi, whose love of gardening gives the play its name. Her character Rosemary badly misses her dead husband.
Keller play Iris, a wonderfully blunt and sarcastic New Yorker who is twice divorced and in fact still living with her 2nd ex husband and his gay lover! She also has some pain to cope with, but more hidden.
The play is part-musical, with the ever talented Michael Nicholas Williams on the piano. Keller is a professional singer and always a delight to listen to. Brophy’s singing was fine, but up against the strength of Keller, was slightly jarring for me. It’s not that it was in any way bad, but if you have someone great and someone just good singing together, it doesn’t always work. I recall once being at a party where Jim Bolger and Dame Malvina Major sang together on the karaoke – it was umm memorable 🙂
I liked the plot, as we discovered why the girls had stopped writing to each other so long ago, and how they started up again. Both Keller and Brophy are larger than life characters who dominate the stage easily. The set kept them physically separate, so you got the sense of their communications.
Like with many plays, it was a mixture of joy and sadness. You smile often at their letters and e-mails, but also share their sadness as events emerge. It was a gentle ending to my weekend of plays.
The play runs until Saturday 28 April.