Teaset is a solo show in which a young woman recounts her relationship with Mrs A, an elderly woman that she cares for during the week before New Years Eve 1999.
The play covers topics that might be uncomfortable to viewers, especially in light of the mental stress being felt world-wide during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. We've grouped these into topics below. We've also provided avenues of support that are available to you if you're struggling currently with any of these issues.
Both the narrator and Mrs A have had recent bereavements that have impacted their mental health. The young woman recalls finding her mother's body recently (her cause of death is unknown), and Mrs A lost both her husband of many years as well as her only remaining comfort and companion, her dog Brambles.
Isolation and Depression
Both the young woman and Mrs A do not have close relationships or active support networks where they can socialise and feel valued. Neither feels connected to the people or places around them.
Criminal and sexual assault
We learn that Mrs A has very recently moved in with her daughter following a violent break-in at her home. In addition to being robbed, Mrs A was bound, raped, and mutilated by her assailant. Hearing Mrs A's tale greatly affects the narrator and impacts the remainder of the action of the play.
Later in the play, our narrator is also the victim of a less violent break-in. While the specifics aren't known, the narrator states that she fought back and attacked her assailant. She's tied him up and left her at her flat before going to the police.
Mrs A confides in our narrator that she intends to commit suicide on New Year's Eve. Despite their growing friendship, Mrs A commits suicide as planned and the young woman finds her body New Year's Day. The impact of this, and the home invasion she suffers later, leaves her mental health in a very fragile state.
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If you find yourself needing support, please seek help with any of the following organisations. We know them and their work; they'll help you however they can. You are not alone.
Cruse Bereavement Care or call: 0808 808 1677
AgeUK: The UK's leading charity helping every older person
MIND: for better mental health
National Rape Crisis Helpline: Open between 12:00-14:30 and
19:00-21:30 every day of the year.