My Darling Clemmie is playing at the Assembly Rooms at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. A one woman show which seeks to shed light on the life and times of the great wartime leader, Winston Churchill.
The inimitable RP drone, the victory sign, a cigar, the caustic wit; with so many cliches now surrounding such a famous figure as Churchill, it’s a relief to hear about his life from the one who loyally loved him the most; his wife Clementine.
Shining a light on such a well explored historical figure always has to be daunting task, which is why I applaud anyone who finds a different angle from which to view the great and good. This is writer, Hugh Whitemore’s choice as he gives us insight into the both the man himself and the woman at his shoulder. The writing is wonderfully fluid and engaging, occasionally punctuated with humour and genuinely emotive moments as we are taken through some 60 years of acquaintance and marriage.
All of this is made better by the outstanding performance of Rohan McCullough, who you feel could read you the phone book and she’d still have you wrapped around her finger for the duration of the show. Though seemingly doing so little, she actually achieves so much. Every arched eyebrow, every shift in tone is delivered with perfect timing.
This is assured writing with a level of research that offers an insight into the Churchill’s family life, both triumphant and at times bitterly tragic, showing sensitivity and gusto in equal measures. My Darling Clemmie is an entertaining and (for those like me with limited knowledge of the man and era) educational hour.