29: One Small Step

19 Apr

Today has been one of those days where it would have been easy to stop writing this blog or, at the least, to miss one day’s reading. But I’m stubborn and that means that I’ll read and write even when life has thrown a massive spanner into the machinery. (Here’s a link to why today has been particularly difficult.)

Today’s play has an apt title: One Small Step. It’s by Heather Nimmo and is a one-woman play. Regina, the narrator, is struggling with identity and filling the right pair of shoes. She’s been offered a promotion but her husband doesn’t want her to work. Her mother-in-law is a dragon, her son is skipping school and Regina has never really thought about what she wants for herself. Her life is lived to fulfill other people’s expectations of her.

Heather Nimmo has written the play so that the one actor plays many roles: Regina and also all the family members and co-workers she comes into contact with. There’s a lot of dialogue so it must be quite a feat for an actor. One Small Step was first produced in 1992 but it seems much older. The play’s themes make it feel more like a 70s’ play, striving for women’s liberation.

REGINA: ‘Why not, woman.’ Have you noticed that whenever a man says, ‘Why not, woman?’ he’s really saying: ‘If you were a man you’d never act like this. You’d be reasonable. You’d be logical.’ He could deal with the matter in three seconds flat. He wouldn’t have to waste time trying to figure out what’s going on in your head.

There are fairy tales running through the play, most notably The Red Shoes. Regina goes through many pairs of shoes during the course of the play, trying to find the right pair to wear. The stories could have been used much more subtly or engagingly, instead of feeling rather predictable in a play that embraced stereotypes and frequently used tropes.

Published with Witchplay by Tobsha Learner.

Publisher: Currency Press

Cast: 1F

One Response to “29: One Small Step”

  1. Kerry Kilner April 19, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    Hi Katherine,

    I’m really enjoying reading your blog… do keep it up! It’s great to be reminded of so many excellent plays and to be introduced to some I’m not aware of.

    Australian drama was a major research interest for me a few years ago.


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