The Royal Exchange's production of The Glass Menagerie is at Richmond Theatre this week with Brenda Blethyn playing the douty Amanda Wingfield.
Molly had organised a Q & A with her after this evening's show and went over to join in. Brenda was fantastic with the audience - who at Richmond occasionally want to make statements to celebrate their own knowledge rather than asking questions - but she took every point on the level and just seemed to enjoy the conversation.
Amanda is modelled on Tennessee Williams' own mother and it's a part cracking with tension. Ultimately though she strikes me as a sympathetic figure - Controlling? Yes. Disappointed? Certainly, but underneath fighting at every turn for her children.
Brenda has an incredible presence as a stage actor and a her rolling style that moves unfaltering from moment to moment is perfect for this part - Amanda's need for forward momentum never allowing her children a moment to challenge or deviate.
The play has one of the most heart breaking moments in dramatic literature when the handsome gentleman caller, whilst encouraging the disabled daughter Laura to dance knocks her glass Unicorn off the table, breaking its horn, and turning into just another horse.
It's a beautiful, beautiful play.