From the Playwright
“I have been in love with this play since I first heard of its existence, which was in the form of a BBC Radio Play a few years ago. I was struck by how a story could be so chilling and wistful at the same time. I immediately knew I wanted to adapt it, and as it slowly fermented in my brain I got to thinking about whether or not I, as a woman today or a woman in turn-of-the-century England, would really want to come back to this world.
It was through this thought process that I decided to add some of my own embellishments to the story, the main ones being the addition of Mary Rose being sent to a mental institution, and the reveal that, contrary to the original, it was not Mary Rose's grief over the loss of her son which led her to die of heartbreak and haunt the house in wait for his return, but instead that it is her sorrow at not being allowed to go back to the mystical place, her true home, to die, which keeps her trapped in this world, unable to pass on to the next.
Here we arrive at where I believe this play [accomplishes SoHo Shakespeare Co.’ mission] Pursuing knowledge beyond what is taught – firstly, in examining the ways in which undesirable characteristics in non-men, characteristics which are detrimental to the maintenance of a status-quo, are categorized as mental illness and used as excuses to shut troublesome folk away; and secondly, presenting an idea that women are more than just who they are in relation to their spouses, parents or children, and giving Mary Rose more individuality and autonomy in her inclination to go back to that ethereal realm.”