Chloë Moss’s This Wide Night, produced by Naked Angels, concerns two British former prisoners who reunite when the freshly released Lorraine invades the bedsit of her younger friend, Marie. Edie Falco and Alison Pill do an impressive job of inhabiting these downtrodden women, mastering a tricky accent, navigating disturbing emotional hairpin turns, and reveling in their naff outfits, especially Falco as Lorraine, sweatpants pulled high above her waist. Along with Rachel Hauck’s painstakingly filthy set, this socially conscious, Good-with-a-capital-G drama has an atmosphere like some of Ken Loach’s more gut-wrenching films.
Despite her mangled pride, Lorraine ingratiates herself with Marie. Over the course of several claustrophobic scenes, the two become each other’s surrogate sister, daughter, mother, and lover. The tense ennui of their cohabitation eerily echoes their time inside, and anything that happens after prison turns sour: Lorraine fails to reconnect with her son; Marie comes home from her bar job brutally beaten. For dubious dramatic effect, Moss delays certain information—for example, the facts of Lorraine’s crime—and we never hear the truth about Marie’s assault. So, paradoxically, while the details of the production are impeccably rendered, the play remains a bit vague.
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