Set in a retirement home amidst the threat of raging storm Doris, we meet an all-female group of residents awaiting evacuation, only to realise like the families who left them there their desperately hoped for rescue may have been abandoned too. Far from doom and gloom writer Sandy Toksvig focuses on humour with some great comedic performances delivered well by her strong cast.
As the storm begins to worsen the ladies soon realise they have been forgotten as their only source of help comes from a young agency care worker from Croydon who’d much rather be snapchatting than hanging around with these long past it oldies. Once the reality that they have been abandoned sinks in the ladies characters and stories really begin to develop, which leads to both moments of laugh out loud hilarity and several more moving moments as they discuss their regrets, their struggles and make their apologies before their fighting spirit returns.
Sheila Reid gives a strong performance as Gloria Bernhardt, a leopard print wearing, mobile phone addicted pensioner desperately clinging onto her youth. Sisters May Trickett and June Partridge played by Maggie McCarthy and Joanna Monro respectively bounce well of each other, bickering for most of the play, ultimately very different but both hurting inside yet keeping their stiff upper lips for the majority of the performance. Northerner Maureen played by Rachel Davies regrets having children and waiting her life on her husband, she harps back to her glory days as a film extra and theatre understudy, never quite getting her chance to shine. Dementia patient St Michael played by Amanda Walker offers some real comedic moments as she slips in and out of the present. As the storm worsens the ladies stories begin to flow and their walls start to break down, even agency worker Hope, Keziah Joseph goes through a transformation as we see just how much we can all learn from each other if we just take the time to listen and ultimately care.
Silver Linings is a fun and thought-provoking piece, it gathers pace as it develops and offers audiences a light-hearted look at the resilience of a group of ladies who whilst elderly certainly haven’t given up on life.
On at The Lowry until Saturday 8th April www.thelowry.com/events/silver-lining