April 27th, 2011


Audio Review: Not a Well Woman by Katy Manning

Not a Well WomanNot a Well Woman by Katy Manning

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Big Finish are branching out slightly from their cult TV roots, and producing a "Drama Showcase" line of original dramas, with, as far as I know, no science fictional content. Although so far all of the ones they've commissioned are by actor/writers of impeccable cult TV credentials, with the first one up being Doctor Who's Katy Manning.

Katy Manning performs all the voices in this story about Pansy, a woman whose extreme nearsightedness leads her into all kinds of interesting trouble. The story is at least partly autobiographical, and is by turns funny and moving, and occasionally both at once.

I think two things stopped me from rating this audio higher than I did. First, the presentation of Pansy's story was very fragmented in time - while there are some good narrative reasons for this, it meant that I spent a lot of time just trying to put the timeline of the story together. Second, I think the play make a few odd choices about how much to show of certain events - it just seems a little bit odd that we get more direct dialogue from Pansy's dressmaker than from her lifelong best friend, for example. (Authentically portrayed female friendship still being a relative rarity in literature, I thought this was a particular missed bet.)

Still, this is probably a must if you're a Katy Manning fan, and well worth a look if you're interested in non-genre audio drama.

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