Last November I happened to be staying in London when there were not one but two Hardy plays on! One was at Wiltons Music Hall, Whitechapel. The other was at the Golden Goose Theatre, Camberwell.

Review of What I Really Think of My Husband by Cari Jones

Last November I happened to be staying in London when there were not one but two Hardy plays on!  One was at Wiltons Music Hall, Whitechapel. It is the oldest in the world apparently and its been on my bucket list to go and see the building for years but to see a Hardy play there is a bonus!  The other was at the Golden Goose Theatre, Camberwell and running for a couple of weeks I think. Wiltons is beautiful inside and out and their herby chips are to die for!

The Golden Goose is a strange place, one side is a scruffy old pub and the other side is a modern bar and spacious seating area and then the theatre which is in the round and very small and intimate but worked very well and the seats are well staggered so everyone gets a good view.

REVIEW: The Haunter at Wiltons

Anyway, the first play I saw was The Haunter at Wiltons with an all-star cast of Toby Jones (who's just everywhere at present!), Lesley Sharp and Rosie Sheehy with James Lever narrating.  Mark Ford was the Director and author of 'Woman Much Missed.  This was a one-nighter only.  Both plays were about how Hardy treated his women, very badly.  This play was serious and they all read from scripts and I came out feeling a bit depressed by it all.  I think James the narrator was most interesting of all by giving us facts but with a lighter tone.  Some people were complaining they could not hear but I had no problem.  So all in all I had more fun looking around and being in the fabulous music Hall!

REVIEW: What I Really Think of My Husband: Thomas Hardy and His Wives at Golden Goose Theatre

I almost didn't go to The Golden Goose Theatre the next night but so glad I did. This play, 'What I Really Think of my Husband' was completely different even though the script was basically the same, I think we laughed through most of it, and the acting was superb, as were the props changing and costumes, I just loved it.  I remember Mark Chutter the Chairman of the Hardy Society saying that Hardy had a real sense of humour and this really came out in this play. Hardy was a cad and was very cruel to both his wives but Emma gave as good as she got even though she was so unhappy and Edmund Dehn made Hardy into a likeable rogue to me. Their cutting, scathing retorts were so harsh but one couldn't help but laugh.  The event went too quickly which shows what a superb play it was! Both plays were about Hardy's relationships with women and it is a real eye-opener.  I think Paulla Byrne's new book Hardy Women will be of the same ilk.


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