This isn’t a sponsored post.
I’ve not presented this as a regular review as I’ve previously worked with Janice Connolly at Brum Radio.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
This production contains some strong language.
Experience Review: Not The Last at Midlands Arts Centre
“An fascinating exploration of the life of Birmingham philanthropist Lousia Ryland”
Directed by Jennifer Davis and written by Susie Sillett
Adaya Henry and Janice Connolly play Raina and Deena who are members of a south Birmingham historical society in this 75-minute new play presented as part of Birmingham Heritage Week.
The stage is placed in the centre of the theatre with rows of seats facing towards each other. The actors are already in position on stage with a very short arrival time into the theatre.
Props are hidden in plain sight, including flowers around the stage and more emerge as the story progresses.
The story focuses on Louisa Ryland, a Birmingham philanthropist and her donations, both public and anonymous towards the town of Birmingham whilst it was on the verge of becoming a city.
Music and lighting help set the tone hugely, with Raina and Deena imagining Louisa and her relationships around her, and particularly with her governess Charlotte Randle.
Learning more about Louisa Ryland was great in building a picture of Birmingham and the lives of women at the time in the later 1800s, particularly the choices they made and the options available to them.
Not The Last from Women and Theatre is at Midlands Arts Centre until 17th September 2023. Book tickets here: macbirmingham.co.uk/event/women-theatre-not-the-last