Fill your Soul with The Clean House at the Gladstone

Photos by Robin Guy

There are four days left to The Clean House and if you can, head to the Gladstone to see it.  It almost feels like cheating when, as a theatre writer, you walk in to see a Pulitzer Prize-winning play because you know the content of the play will be extraordinary.  Add to that a director and theatre stalwart you such as Mary Ellis and half your job is done because you know quality will ensue.

The Clean House is about a busy, supremely uptight doctor, Lane, who hires a cleaning lady, Matilde to deal with the dirtiness of her home.  Not only does Matilde not want to be a cleaning lady, she is bad at it and has dreams of being a comedienne instead.  Enter Virginia, Lane’s sister who is clean-obsessed and offers to secretly do Matilde’s job, jus for the love the cleaning.  It is a relationship that works and a friendship develops but as they clean, they find more messiness as they discover Lane’s husband has been having an affair.  However, it is not as simple as it seems.

Charles, Lane’s husband, comes home one day to say he is leaving her because he has found his soul mate in Ana, a patient of his (he is oncology surgeon) and wants everyone to stay friends and even brings Ana home to meet Lane.  You can only imagine the emotions that even cold Lane experiences.  But Ana is dying and as a doctor, Lane is bound by the hippocratic oath to help others.  When Ana needs help, Lane steps up to the plate and in a touching twist, ends up liking her.

Within the plot, sister relationships, husband/wife relationships and human dreams and aspirations are all explored with touching moments and fantastic dialogue. It is a moving play that should not be missed.

While all actors offer solid performances, Cindy Beaton is particularly fantastic as neurotic Virginia.

The show runs until the 24th.  It is beautiful.  Just beautiful.