Set in the closing hours of WW2 this poignant exploration of survival shows the inner thoughts of an unnamed wife as she waits at the platform for her husband to return. Devastated by his last minute absence she first imagines the various scenarios that might have kept him from her and then remembers her own war.
The sole weakness of the performance is that at times it becomes difficult to decipher whether the moments portrayed are fantasies or memories. As there is one main transition from fantasy to memory this confusion doesn’t last very long and if anything after the transition to memory the story of love absence and loneliness becomes even more powerful.
The performance of Leela Bunce is simply delightful. Whether she is leading the audience in a rousing chorus of daisy-daisy or miming the characters stiff upper lip as her son is evacuated from the city, the audience can find easy empathy with her portrayal. With her wide-eyed beaming smile it is easy to imagine and share in the simple victories of getting a child to sleep in an air raid shelter or finding her husband’s letters delivered
through the door. Sentimental without being sappy this play successfully shows the ultimate adaptability of the character without sacrificing her humor or humanity.
Superb and extremely touching, ‘Waiting for Stanley’ might just be the show not to miss at the Fringe 2012.