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‘night, Mother (1983): Soldier of Misfortune

Marsha Norman, ‘night, Mother (Hill and Wang, 1983)

[originally posted 28Jun2001]

A road going past, presumably, the house where the play takes place adorns the book cover.

We’re on the road to nowhere…
photo credit: garagetheatre.org

What a refreshing piece of work—a sparse, clear-headed play that examines the ramifications of suicide and (for once) comes up with the right answer. The action takes place in two rooms, with two people, and runs about an hour and a half. The two characters, a late-thirties daughter and her mother, start with the idea that the daughter is planning on committing suicide later that night, and the resulting tension between them allows both an examination of the more stable, understandable reasons behind the desire to end one’s life and the soul-baring necessary in any familial relationship (and present in only a few). Required reading for anyone who doesn’t understand why someone might want to kill him/herself. ****

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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