Tuesday’s at Tesco’s OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    May 14, 2015
    Closing:
    June 7, 2015

    Theater: 59E59 Theaters / 59 East 59th St., New York, NY, 10022

    Synopsis: 

    Every Tuesday, Pauline visits her elderly father to do household chores and take him to the grocery store. But it's not just fruit and vegetables she searches for walking down the aisles. It's the lost love of her father, who cannot forget who Pauline once was - his son Paul.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Tuesday’s at Tesco’s

    ‘Tuesday’s at Tesco’s,’ With Simon Callow, on a Transgender Woman’s Travail

    Ben Brantley

    May 19, 2015: Pauline knows that you’re looking at her. People always do. Her response is to look right back — hard — until you drop or soften your gaze. You better. Pauline is determined to make you feel more embarrassed by the fact of her existence than she is. In a bold and expert performance that makes no concessions to an actor’s vanity or an audience’s sympathy, the august British actor Simon Callow portrays — no, fully inhabits — Pauline in Emmanuel Darley’s “Tuesday’s at Tesco’s.” This bleak portrait of a woman defending her identity, which opened on Tuesday night at 59E59 as part of the Brits Off Broadway festival, is letting no one off easy. Pauline — nee Paul — has none of the ingratiating, flirtatious, life-affirming aspects that we have come to associate with lovable transgender characters for politically enlightened audiences. From the moment Mr. Callow stomps onto the stage — in a cleavage-flashing red blouse, a tasteful beige skirt and pop-out splashes of turquoise — it is clear that Pauline is an enraged and aggrieved woman. And, yes, she is emphatically a woman, though her broad shoulders, rough-hewn features and growling voice might suggest otherwise. The sole character in this 75-minute show, directed (by Simon Stokes) and designed (by Robin Don) with poetic severity, Pauline has always known what sex she is, even when she lived as a little boy in the working-class home where much of this show is set.

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