The Doors late frontman, Jim Morrison, is regarded for his creative poetry and lyrics on the music he wrote and performed for the hard rock band in the 1960s.
On the evening of the show about Joan Didion’s life, the main song for the play, Five to One, is heard across the room, with some of the lyrics having reference to the most challenging events of Didion’s life.
The first act opens with Dorothy Ann Gould, who plays the role of Didion, telling the story of Didion’s worst night, the night she lost her husband.
Gould relays the story with as much as emotion and conviction as you can hear in the words from Didion’s memoir, allowing the audience to visualise her last moments with her husband.
Gould speaks on the moments where Didion had to find the strength to cope, by focusing on the little memories that she had shared with her late husband and their only child.
The set of the play is simple: a chair, a grey windbreaker, books and a pair of boots on a shelf.
Gould replays each memory of Didion’s grief, emotional health and inability to write or create plays without her playwright partner.
Moments in Didion’s life when she created memories in the last moments with her family all intertwine with the main scene of her trying to come to terms with her husband’s death, gripping the attention of the audience as she mentions how she kept some of the items worn by her partner.
While telling of the fate of her husband, Gould portrays the life of a woman who is reaching the point of losing everything she holds dear.
The play shows how grief can disrupt rational thinking, and how Didion struggled to function when she had to grieve the loss of her partner, while also supporting her daughter who was in a coma, and who subsequently died after brain surgery.
Gould and the director of the play, Mark Graham Wilson, pull the attention of the audience to some of the most heart-wrenching moments in Didion’s life, portraying the role of a bereaved wife, then a bereaved mother.
Didion is mostly known for her literary works, memoirs and autobiography, having also worked at Vogue magazine during the 1960s and 1970s.
Didion and John Donne wrote together for almost 40years, until his death, and their works include Up Close and Personal and A Star Is Born.
Her memoir, The Year in Magical Thinking, released in 2005, was first adapted as a play in 2007 in the US.