25 March 2004 - 15 May 2004

Evening Performances:
Monday - Saturday 7.30pm

Saturday Matinees:
3, 10, 17, 24 April, 1, 8 and 15 May 3.30pm

Mid-Week Matinees:
29 April 3.30pm

Royal Court Theatre

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Ms London
by Martin Spence

If you want to see a stonking star performance from Gillian Anderson, book now for The Sweetest Swing In Baseball. Rebecca Gilman's startingly funny take on mental illness parodies our culture of envy, commercialisation and individual isolation, in which success is worshipped but faliure enjoyed even more.

Anderson's Dana is the next best thing in the art world. But when her latest exhibition flops, she flops too. Admitted to psychiatric hospital after a suicide attempt, she tries to prolong her stay by taking dual personality disorder. She chooses to morph into Darryl Strawberry, the Afro-American baseball star. Preposterous? Sure. But whoever said mental illness made sense?

How do you make a two-hour confessional interesting? You cast Anderson of the empty eyes and dry-lipped speech. You watch as she interacts with a sensible psychotic (John Sharian) and a gay alcoholic (Demetri Goritas). No histronics. No hamming. No bullying. Seeing this tiny feminine thing morph into a huge black male had me rolling about in my seat. Just watch her body language, her hand gestures, her voice. Sure Gilman's good-natured play is issue-led, butits written with warmth, common sense and complete conviction.

Why does Dana want to stay in the hospital? Why does she refuse medication? Why doesn't she co-operate with the shrinks? Because she's still ill and she knows it. And Anderson, in the performance of her life, knows it too. Dana's strong, spunky, not sad, not happy. She's through with enthusiastic fakery. The final crazy twist proves that.