Woman Before a Glass is a low-key, ninety-minute long, one-woman show, performed in a 70-seat studio theatre in London's West End. The play maps the true story of Peggy Gugenheim, an art collector in the mid-20th Century. It is a passionately told story – witty, engaging, and interesting.
Some of you may have read the fact that this is a very small-scale play and decided that, regardless of the play's merits, it just isn't for you – and that's fine, each to their own. If, however, this does sound like your kind of play, then read on.
It's always refreshing to see something that's a bit different, and Woman Before a Glass is certainly that. Judy Rosenblatt is personable and likeable as Peggy Gugenheim but, more importantly, she really brings to life Peggy's fascinating story, making the play intriguing from the start even for someone (like me) who doesn't know anything at all about art.
My main criticism of Woman Before a Glass would be that, although it is only ninety minutes long, the pace of the play does drop off at times, particularly towards the play's end. Having more variety in the way that the space in the studio theatre is used might have prevented this.
Woman Before a Glass is playing at Jermyn Street Theatre until the 3rd February, followed by three other shows in the theatre's 'Scandal Season': Mad as Hell, Hilda and Virginia, and The Dog Beneath the Skin. The season ends on the 31st March.
Photo: Judy Rosenblatt (Robert Workman)