So it turns out I have had reservations about all the plays in this festival. The idea that I was going to watch just two people for an hour and a half playing multiple different characters struck me as something that had to be performed extremely well or was going to be a disaster.
How was I going to tell who was who? Would the actors be talking to themselves? Not knowing anything about the play before hand my mind took me to places where I was going to be utterly confused.
Thankfully, no one had to talk to themselves, the structure of the play was that of individual scenes with either one character monologing or a male and female character interacting. At no point was the guy pretending to be an old man totalling to the landlord and doing some sort of terrible accent swapping which was what I feared would happen.
The actors themselves did a sterling job! Totally brilliant. If every they need a showpiece to prove they can do more than one thing, they should just tape that and put it on YouTube. If you can play, an elderly person, a boyfriend with a roaming eye and girlfriend who has had enough,a couple in an abusive relationship, a couple who have let themselves go, a weak man and a strong woman, a small boy and a married couple held only together by their business running the pub the play is set in you have my utmost respect.
The characters came almost entirely from the actors themselves with only the slightest costume and hair changes to identify each new character on stage. The changes were extremely smooth and done at great speed. My favourite character had to be the woman in the fat couple who seemed to have headed to the pub just to watch telly and eat crisp. NEVER has eating crisps been so funny. But the most standout moment had to be the boyfriend with roaming eye jumping off the stage, shaking his bum in the face of one front row punter and seriously flirting with another who from my vantage point definitely looked to be a pensioner.
From the feedback at the end it sounded like this was quite a different set up from the usual way of doing it and I think it would be a very interesting experience to see another pair attempt it. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way about theatre but I always choose new shows rather than going to see something twice. However, there are a few things that I would be up for seeing again and I would definitely consider this one.
4 to go!