If you are over 30 years of age, you may remember a programme called Roseanne. It was an American sitcom that was massive in the ’80s and ’90s.
The programme centred on the life of Roseanne and her family. Roseanne’s sister was played by an actress called Laurie Metcalf. She played the role very well and I always liked her as an actress.
Well, as luck would have it, Laurie is appearing in the West End at the moment in one of my favourite plays, Long Day’s Journey Into Night. This is a classic written by Eugene O’Neill, the American playwright. I have always loved this play. It’s a heavy drama that all actors should read and see.
The performances were very good but Laurie was in a league of her own. The funny thing about being in a sitcom is that you don’t get to see the other sides of the actors’ ability until they branch out.
You have to see Laurie in this role. She is truly outstanding. It’s a very difficult part as she plays a paranoid middle-aged woman who is addicted to morphine. The play actually reflects O’Neill’s own life. In fact, he did not allow for this play to be published until after his death. It’s that autobiographical. When you see the play, you will understand why – it’s a very dysfunctional family.
This play is very difficult material for an actor to navigate, so go and watch it. You will learn a lot.