“Frogs” by Karen Ankers presented by Rushen Players
Frogs examines what happens when a loving relationship is challenged by illness. Gerald and Dorothy’s long and loving relationship changes with Gerald’s descent into dementia, together with being wracked with guilt about his first wife’s suicide.
Review by Susie Beswick
It’s all in the mind! We are what we are! A leopard doesn’t change his spots! He’s always been the same! But not always and not all of us.
Imagine forgetting your daughter’s birthday, where you went yesterday, whether you were supposed to meet your daughter yesterday because it was her birthday?
A difficult play to tackle and for the players to handle the content with understanding, humour and sensitivity. Dementia is widespread has an inevitable ending whether Barrister, Farmer or Nurse all sufferers loose both their dignity and personality.
Frogs shines light on the difficulties and consequences within a long term relationship from the perspective of both Dorothy, the carer and Gerald, the gent who has been struck by this disease.
Dorothy is busy, busy given that they’re expecting the arrival of David, Gerald’s son, a man in his forties. At Gerald’s request she’s making lots of little cakes, but then Gerald remembers and sees him as a 10 year old boy. In fact she’s going a little overboard in her attempt to please Gerald, perhaps attempting to keep their day as free of stress as possible.
Some days are hard work, the cakes burn a tad because Gerald, suddenly, loudly and emotionally questions who Dorothy is after looking at an old family photo album in which Josephine his first wife is pictured with a young David.
It’s an upsetting and draining incident for both of them bearing in mind that Josephine committed suicide after an incident. But there are times when their days are joyful when a dance or two sweetens all.
Over the course of the play, Gerald is able to voice many of his fears which are as difficult to read as the writing must have been.
“One day I will never say your name again, I won’t even know your name. It’s like drowning. Will it get better or worse?
Maybe before it gets worse I could go to that Clinic in Switzerland?”
This play obviously presented quite a task and commitment for the cast who both rose to the challenges of the task with compassion and great commitment. Not one for the fainthearted.
A very good job, well done Director, Cast and Crew.
Photographs by Mike Trout