“Would life be boring without any problem?”, “What would we be doing if we never had any?”, “Is having everything in life not good enough to be happy?”, “What is our main need and how should we get the balance in our lives?” are the main questions that English dramatist David Eldridge arises in his new play “The Knot of the Heart” at Almeida Theatre. The play first met audiences on 10th March and will be on until 30th April.

The Knot of the Heart is now at Almeida Theatre.

The Knot of the Heart is the story of three women (widow mother  Barbara and her two daughters lawyer Angela and TV presenter Lucy)of a middle class family who can’t love each other as much as they love money, but on the other hand desperately seek love in their fake, baseless lives.The victim of the rich in the pocket but poor in the heart family’s incapability to love is the main character Lucy (Lisa Dillon) who loses her TV presenting job due to her drug addiction at the beginning of the play.

29-yo independent woman Lucy, moves to her mother (Margot Leicester)’s house to get financial support while dealing with her make-believe illness (drug addiction). The reason why she takes drug is to relax and perform better while she is in front of the camera and being sick of all the games people play, she tells her mum ,who has no clue how to help other than obeying Lucy. Barbara even meets drug dealers in a cafe and buys her heroin hidden in a cake, after finding Lucy on the floor in the middle of the night  injecting herself heroin and being incontinent.Lucy tells Barbara how she was abused by the dealers and begs her to go back to her womb and stay there.

Angela (Abigail Cruttenden) who leaves her mother after feeling to have always been ignored child in the second scene, comes back on Barbara’s call after a year in a few weeks of Lucy’s disappearance. Angela is the intellectual and virtuous character, who knows all the secrets that Barbara has, as an older daughter, and exposes all the wrong doings of the family every time she appears on the stage but she also suffers from inadequate love and has history of self harm like cuttingher tighs. In her return she says to her mother that she met a man and had an ectopic pregnancy while they were not in touch  which doesn’t sound so interesting to Barbara and causes another conflict and separation between them.

From that point on every scene of the play becomes another auto-confrontation of the characters and confrontation of the  family members  with each other and with their past after Lucy ends up being raped by drug dealers and stays in and out of a Crisis Centre to get her life back. Every attempt of Lucy to get her life back slaps her with another lie that her privileged looking fake life was built on.

Eldridge’s play underlines one reality which unfortunately is not brought to light in the right time is that what it means to have everything in a family where money is the measure of everything including love. The question  audiences must arise is that:“ How considerate was it  for Almeida Theatre  to put this play on while the great majority of the society were and  still are  struggling to survive in the climate of the Greatest Depression of  the last four years? While people outside were tackling with real problems of their real lives, showing this play is not very different from being sarcastic with the society.

However If any member of the working class sees Eldridge’s play which exposes a money oriented middle class family’s baseless, self made problems due to their incapability to love each other and excessive amount of money they most probably stole from the working class people’s pockets legally sometimes illegally , they will appreciate their problems or they will  even think  that social justice somehow takes place somewhere.

The only indisputable fact is that middle class families will definitely learn a lot from Eldridge’s “The Knot of the Heart” and recommend it to their discontented pretentious friends who have no clue how to love their kids apart from spoiling them with excessive amount of money. They might learn how not to tolerate in fact not to ignore  their children when they  take drug at the age of 13 like Lucy did. All it requires is LOVE not MONEY.

The play directed by Michael Attenborough on the oval stage divided with glasses into four parts and each one of them  decorated according to the scenes that are perfectly designed by Peter McKintosh.

  1. vulnerable patient! says:


    I don’t know for sure this is your email. I met you the other day when I was getting ready for that unpleasant process and you had a calming effect. We talked about you blog and your plays. Your blog is impressive. Let me know if this is your email..
    All best,

  2. You’re more generous to this play than I am. As a dramatic piece, I enjoyed it but I couldn’t sympathise with the whole North London middle class angst that smothers this play from start to finish. I also agree with you about how well this play sits in the interesting times we live in.

    • sefrew says:

      Dear theatre lover,
      I am glad to hear from a person ,whose biggest passion is theatre,like you.
      After reading your review that made me smile,I agree “The Knot of the Heart” was a failure in many respect but it still represents sad realities of middle class families.
      It is hard to classify the play as a drama which dramatically failed to get sympathy of audiences including you.
      I look forward to reading more reviews on your blog.

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