Jim Hutchon was at Little Baddow ...
Map of the Heart
Little Baddow Players
This great sprawling play spans raw emotions and whole continents. On the eve of his departure for a mercy mission in the Sudan , middle-aged doctor Albie tells his wife he is leaving her for another woman.
The unlikely Lothario was John Peregrine – at his best when subsequently taken hostage in the Sudan . His wife, strongly understated by Lindsay Lloyd is left in the ensuing months to preside over the slow, quiet fracturing of her home and her heart. The mistress, a matter-of-fact Vicky Tropman, is the aid worker unable to reconcile her marriage-wrecking with her humanist ideals.
Sarah Trippett-Jones played a blinder as the huffy teenage daughter with attitude and Philip Gaudin was urbane and civilised as the shadowy, damaged house guest keen to keep things fuzzy. Michael Gray was the strong, silent ex-lover whose two key speeches were each seven words long – but delivered with energy and commendable brevity. Paul Randall was irritatingly good as the smug Foreign Office negotiator who secured an arms-for-hostage release.
The play never lapsed into sentimentality, and striking scenes of a church and a prison cell contrasted well with the middle-class main set. Nice to see Ken Rolf back in the director’s chair, and in such cracking form.