Bazaar and Rummage
Set in a church hall, this is the funny and moving story of a group of agoraphobic women who, as part of a self-help group, decide to break through their troubled and insular lives for one day at least by bravely staging a bazaar and rummage sale. Sue Townsend, author of the very popular Adrian Mole set of books, has crafted a very entertaining, witty and poignant play of ordinary people striving to overcome all obstacles in an effort to rejoin society. This play contains some adult themes and smoking. Set in the eighties, this is the sometimes funny, sometimes quite moving story of a self-help group of agoraphobics who set up a bazaar and rummage sale. Hindered by their controlling social worker, Gwenda, each of them start coming to terms with the outside world and the causes of their illness. Fliss, a trainee social worker, manages to keep them all together and by the time they leave the hall, it is apparent that their agoraphobia is not cured but at least they have made a start.
Set in 1985, some of the language and issues will not exactly be seen as politically correct 30 years on, 33 from when the play was written, but one of Sue Townsend’s strengths is she writes it as she sees it, as it is, or was in this case. And that is how it should be seen in the context of the times.
It is funny, poignant, sad and although highly entertaining, it also gives a glimpse, amid all the laughter, of a frightening world of phobias where rationality struggles to exist. An enjoyable evening that makes you think.