Aug 2011entertainmentMagazineTheatre

A Woman Killed with Kindness- Katie Mitchell revives Heywood classic


Britain’s most polarising director Katie Mitchell is currently presenting a revival of Thomas Heywood’s A woman killed with kindness at London’s National theatre.

Receiving a second revival from Katie Mitchell, Thomas Heywood’s play follows two women, Anne (Liz White) and Susan (Sandy McDade). They only briefly meet but their lives are parallel as they deal with the issues of marriage, betrayal, possession and the punishments bestowed on them by society and themselves.

Often hailed as a ‘destroyer’ of classical texts as well as an innovator, Mitchells willingness to cut and manipulate plays to find new truths, as well as championing her female characters has earned her the harshest of critics but also a reputation as one of British theatres leading and most exciting directors.

A woman killed with kindness is no different in its treatment. The play is re-envisaged in 1919, an era when women have just gained the vote and subsequently a step towards independence from the men in their lives and away from archaic social norms. This serves to further highlighting the plight of Susan as she is pimped out by her husband to cover debts and the tragedy of Anne’s spiral into self-imposed starvation after being exiled form her home.

While this will undoubtedly rile traditionalists, Mitchells unwavering quest for truth and authenticity in a play full of emotional power struggles and physiological trauma should engage audiences and further add to the National’s cannon of tense gripping drama.

Genre: Play-Tragedy

Box Office:  020 7452 3000

Start Date: Thurs 18th Aug 2011

Closing Date: Sun 11th Sep 2011

A Woman Killed with Kindness by Thomas Heywood

National Theatre, London

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Written by: Andy Mann