presented by Whistler in the Dark Theatre
Vinegar Tom is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
by Caryl Churchill
directed by Mac Young
songs composed by Molly Allis, Juliet Olivier & Veronica Barron
music Composed and Performed by: Veronica Barron & Tony Leva
lyrics by Caryl Churchill
Review by Gillian Daniels
(Boston) Historical fiction is often said to reflect the era in which it’s written rather than the era it’s written about. Caryl Churchill’s Vinegar Tom, originally performed in 1976, mirrors the growing awareness of feminism. In 1600’s England, a group of women deal with being unmarried, unrepresented, and unwanted. The result is a play that’s appropriately bleak.
Vinegar Tom begins with Alice, portrayed by the excellent but often subtle Becca A. Lewis. Lewis playfully drives the show as a young woman with a feather-light conscience despite having an infant son out of wedlock. Her performance is credible not as a woman anachronistically independent or “ahead of her time,” but as someone who wants to marry and live on her own terms. She is aided by her mother, Joan (Karin Webb), who is largely dismissed and derided by their town as an old hag. Continue reading