"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Saturday, August 04, 2012
TWO SHORT PLAYS ABOUT LOVE
SHORT PLAYS ABOUT LOVE
at Baddow Studio
R Gurney's Love Letters – convincingly translated to the UK –
charts a fifty-year relationship which often founders face to face,
but flourishes in good old pen-to-paper correspondence. Mike and Sara
Nower are the upper-middle-class couple whose schoolroom notes,
invitations, billets-doux, thank-you letters [and one excruciating
round robin] remind us of the days before texts and emails. He
becomes a successful, and rather stuffy, MP. She an artist – her
letters are enlivened by sketches of cats and dancing bears – and a
depressive alcoholic. Lots and lots of letters, all sensitively
delivered, without much rehearsal; the touching coda, written to her
bereaved mother, is beautifully judged. By its nature this is a
static piece, and it would have been helpful to see the two
correspondents more clearly at their respective writing desks.
the interval – bar down the road at Russell's – an enjoyably
uncomplicated excursion into sitcom territory – What's for Pudding
by David Tristram. The laughs came thick and fast in a very slick
production, featuring Jo Gent as the bored housewife with "Maverick"
on her tee-shirt and Roger Saddington as her accountant husband.
Neighbours Alan Ireland and Helen Quigley bring sad news of the
demise of Samson the budgie; Matthew Jones thumbs through the Kay's
Catalogue for a pair of trousers [this is 1990]. Quality
directors were Joanna Poole and Helen Quigley.