A Life in Her Day
nytheatre.com review by Wendy Remington
September 22, 2006
In A Life in Her Day, we awake with a clown and her dog and join her in a daydream about her life. She meets a man, falls in love, gets married and goes on her honeymoon, and has a baby. This very commonplace subject matter is elevated to the wonderful by performer and co-creator Hilary Chaplain, who weaves her clown daydream by imbuing the objects in her world with their own life, completely transforming them, and engaging the imagination so completely as to beguile us into forgetting that we are watching magic happen. Her magic man is created from a lamppost dressed in a robe; a lampshade becomes her wedding dress; a roll of paper towels becomes their baby; and Hostess Sno-Balls serve myriad unexpected purposes.
The show is completely charming and lovely. Chaplain is a deft performer and her clown is utterly delightful and smart. She has a fantastic rapport with the audience and the creativity behind the show's conception is evident and makes a very enjoyable evening. As an audience member, I was completely wrapped up in the world she created, and often had to remind myself that it was Chaplain's skilled puppetry of objects that was creating the reality on stage.
The daydream storyline occasionally veers off into wonderful physical comedy, such as that exploration of the uses of the Sno-Ball (which will later figure into the storyline) and a fantastic scene where a bowl of marshmallows is used to its full comedic capacity. It was wonderful to bob along and take in what is, indeed, a life in a day. Chaplain has opened herself wide and by sharing generously of her dreams and magical view of the world, encourages us to see the potential that is all around.