Can Any Mother Help? (WYP, 5th March 2009)

The epistolary novel was very popular in the eighteenth century, and there have been examples of this form of story telling since, but in a world of email, letter writing has been transformed to the digital format and used less frequently than it was. Can any Mother Help? takes us back to paper, pen and typewriter when it was more complicated to circulate to a number of people. This is a story told through the letters of the women who wrote letters to each other as part of the Cooperative Correspondence Club (CCC). The Club was a secret magazine and the editor passed the letters on to each member. Can Any Mother Help? is the story of the CCC and of the club and is also a patchwork of the individual narratives of the women who wrote to each other. Foursight Theatre use a variety of techniques to tell the story, playing characters who wrote the letters as well as acting narrators. For example, the opening story of the death of a German airman is narrated by one character, while other use the full cast as both character, audience and narrator. There is the story of the correspondent who fell in love with the Bach musician and the woman who wanted another baby. The production manages to interweave the balance of emotions as some of the writers’ stories are funny, and others very sad.

The production runs for 90 mins with no interval, which keeps the audience engrossed throughout.

Reviews and Previews
The Stage / Reviews / Can Any Mother Help Me?
Preview: Can Any Mother Help Me?, West Yorkshir
Preview: Can Any Mother Help Me?, West Yorkshir ers on to each member and comments.

Can Any Mother Help? West Yorkshire Playhouse

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