A Fine Line
Though a gentle thing, Ronnie Dorsey’s monologue is laced with pain and longing. Capably performed by Judith Paris, the play tells the story of a life-long relationship between two women, Rita and Angie. Friends since childhood, they are there for each other through everything life throws at them. Angie marries but Rita never does and it becomes clear that the love which connects them goes deeper than friendship, in ways they cannot bring themselves to express.
Dorsey’s writing, like the character of Rita, is restrained, contained. A Fine Line is a play about hidden things, emotions internalised, but this can make it quite distancing. Mark Leipacher’s production is tonally quite flat with Paris allowed only one brief explosion after decades of holding things in. It is not enough. Though there are occasional shard-like images, the writing too is quite textureless in places.
As a hymn to the love that can exist between women, it is quite poignant, albeit in a low-key way. But given the tragic events that befall the characters, it is not as wrenching as it might have been, down in part down to the static staging. Similarly Rita’s brief, bright moment of joy feels like it could have been more uplifting. As it is, it all feels a little muffled and blanket-wrapped.