19:30, Tue 17th – Sat 21st November 2009 at Corpus Playroom
Michaelmas Week 6
Scott McPherson’s dark and mordantly funny comedy is about one woman’s commitment to caring for her family first, even in the face of personal tragedy. Nominated in 1992 for the Drama Desk Awards Outstanding New Play, the title character, who is never seen onstage, has been dying for 20 years. Bessie, Marvin’s daughter, has been taking care of Marvin and her aunt all her adult life, and she will continue to do so until they drop or she does.
Her relationship with her sister is a different story...Estranged since their father's first stroke some 17 years earlier, Lee and Bessie lead separate lives in separate states. Lee has two sons, neither of whom are particularly normal: Charlie always has his nose in a book, and (in a more extreme example of abnormality) Hank was committed to a psychiatric hospital after setting fire to the house. Early in the play we discover Bessie has leukaemia and is in need of a bone marrow transplant. This necessitates a call to her sister...The impact that Bessie has on Lee and her sons, particularly Hank, is the underlying story of Marvin’s Room.