Woman in Mind

June 05, 1992 | Tiffany Theatre
Directed by: Dennis Erdman | Literature: Alan Ayckborn | Set Design: Yael Pardess
Susan (Helen Mirren) finds herself entagled in a viscious web of existence devoured by reality and virtuality. The real world she perceives is composed of her husband, a boring sister-in-law and an irresponsive son, alongside with a substitute doctor for the towns original medic. The virtual world on the other hand is composed of a much more lively husband, an easy-going brother and a charming daughter. Along this confusing journey, Susan's only companion is the local doctor, who struggles to make sense of her confusion and terror.
Cast: Helen Mirren (Susan Gannet), Paxton Whitehead (Dr. Bill Windsor), John Getz (Andy), Tony Carlin (Tony), Nick Tate (Gerald), Marsha Dietlein (Lucy), Angela Paton (Muriel), JD Cullum (Rick)

Production Notes

With Ayckorn’s “Woman in Mind”, Helen Mirren made her stage debut in Los Angeles. “It was a double thing,” Mirren says. “I’ve never worked in the theater here in Los Angeles, and it was a great opportunity for me to do that. On top of that, being offered the opportunity to play such a really wonderful role. In my knowledge, this is probably one of the best roles written for a woman. I would count it among the top 10 best ever. That obviously has a lot to do with it.” For director Dennis Erdman, Mirren was a first choice for the role. “Woman in Mind is like doing ‘St. Joan’ without a very strong actress in the central role. The edifice would completely fall apart. I’ve been wanting to do this play for a very long time, and it wasn’t until Helen was able to do it that we went ahead.”

“It’s a comedy,” Mirren continues, underlining the word. “A comedy about a woman who’s having a nervous breakdown. It sounds like an oxymoron, but that’s in fact what it is, which is what makes it quite extraordinary, that a writer like Ayckbourn can take what’s in fact an incredibly serious subject, and deal with it seriously but at the same time write an extremely funny play.” In its review for the play, The Los Angeles Times called Mirren’s Mirren’s “delicate, almost fragile Susan, an uncommonly attractive woman desperately stranded in the wrong life.”



Woman in Mind is being listed under the following tags: , ,