(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, 11/6.)
I've always admired the distinctive voice of "debbie tucker green" (her choice of lower case is deliberate). Yet, whereas in earlier plays like stoning mary and dirty butterfly I thought her talent was more poetic than dramatic, this new, emotionally charged 75-minute piece achieves a synthesis of style and content: it's a cry of anguish, in which the verbal reiterations denote an evasion of truth.
The focus is on a young black woman, Elayne, who is an obsessive, list-making semi-recluse: a fact symbolised by the way she refuses to replace the batteries in her non-working doorbell. In the play's first part, we see Elayne speculating with her friends, Aimee and Devon, on the subject of funeral eulogies. The action then abruptly switches to a highly plausible spat between a separated married couple over the husband's one-day-a-week custody of their 11-year-old daughter.