Review: The Milliner and the Weaver, Women, Power and Politics at the Tricycle

Play number one of the Then half of Women, Power and Politics season at the Tricycle Theatre

“They’ve got eyes in their arses in this street”

The Milliner and the Weaver is set in 1914 and looked at the relationship between Henrietta from Belfast and Elspeth from Dublin, worlds apart socially but bound together by their joint participation in the suffragette movement. However, the long-running debate about Home Rule in Ireland threatens to break this unlikely alliance as Elspeth makes an unscheduled visit to Belfast.

It was well acted, Niamh Cusack was good as the downtrodden Henrietta, resigned to the realities of her situation and the need to exercise caution in fighting for social change, after all she needs to go on living where she does no matter how unpopular her actions. And Stella Gonet, resplendent in Victorian costume (which is as close as I’ve ever seen her to her House of Elliott character, which was a thrill in itself!) matched her well with her Elspeth, clearly not used to dealing with people not from her social strata.

To be frank, this was probably my least favourite segment of both nights. Something about it just didn’t click with me and I never really got into it, despite the excellent performances, I found little connection here and when the women started to talk about the curse of the Titanic on Belfast then I just got a bit lost. Not even the brief interjection of Felix Scott as a brash Ulsterman could enliven this one for me.

Running time: 30 minutes

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