REVIEW: Equally Divided, Lowther Pavilion

The cast of Equally Divided by Fylde Coast Players
The cast of Equally Divided by Fylde Coast Players

Fylde Coast Players are to be congratulated on their customary high standard of acting in this 1998 Ronald Harwood play.

Helen Barrow and Teresa Mallabone give strong leads as contrasting sisters Renata and Edith Taylor, in dispute about their late mother’s affections and her will.

Their very names reflect their differing wealth and life styles and both fully inhabit their roles - the one blowing smoke rings, the other, “poor Edith”, wrapping her cardigan tight. They both deal particularly effectively with their monologues.

Ian Edmondson, with flowery tones and effective pauses, commands attention as antiques valuer and confidant Fabian and Tim Greenwood works hard to gain many of the laughs as family solicitor Charles. Harwood’s portrayal of a family solicitor however is far from convincing.

Director Rosemary Roe keeps the action moving on a well-laid out set, but the slightly self-important speeches within the play about the importance of justice and principles are somewhat rambling and the unseen exit of Renata, after an inconclusive row with Edith, leaves us in the air.

A pleasingly sizeable audience enjoyed the humour, mostly based on bathos, but the play is lacking in drama and overloaded with words.