At its heart, Bag Lady has a number of important questions. There is, however, a greater question sitting over the whole production.
The questions at the heart of the piece include how do we treat the mentally ill in our society and what happens when our failings as a society stare straight at us and we attempt to avoid the gaze? It also asks difficult questions about the enduring legacy of slavery and if we can ever reach equality for all. The question that sits over the top of all of these – very important – questions is, is this entertaining enough as a piece of theatre? Created by Yorkshire’s Hidden Gems theatre company, it is a monologue performed with real verve by Flo Wilson. Marcia Layne’s script has nuggets of utter brilliance in its sparsity. The protagonist asks if society believes it can ‘measure my worth by the depth of my melanin’ and drops the bombshell ‘my son would look like Trayvon’ – so much said with so little. However, brilliantly written insights, do not a play make. It felt like it needed a stronger narrative threading the whole together. Despite that, this is a powerful, insightful piece of work – it is important and it should be seen.
West Yorkshire Playhouse Oct 29 to Nov 2, 0113 2137700.