4,000 Miles by Amy Herzog is an exquisite play bursting with humanity, honesty and searing emotions cut through with razor wit and observations. An essentially simple story of love, loss and loneliness but the sincerity of delivery grabs at your very soul.
Leo (Daniel Boyd) arrives unannounced at his Grandmother Vera’s (Sara Kestelman) apartment, having been out of touch with family and friends since the death of a friend whilst cycling across the states. They rekindle a relationship without sentimentality and Leo begins to repair his world.
Performances are inspiring; Sara Kestelman the frail, dogmatic and deaf octogenarian, reinforcing her existence by phoning a neighbour each day to reassure each other they are still alive. Her loneliness is palpable; her need for friendship so deep in her eyes yet her sharp tongue ensuring everyone keeps their distance. Kestleman’s wonderful timing ensures that the rollercoaster of emotions are honest and extreme. In turn Boyd is most engaging as the lost soul, needing solace and peace.
Supporting characters excel, the drunk Amanda (Jing Lusi) has great energy and conviction whilst Bec (Jenny Hulse) is, as with Vera and Leo, unable to quite say everything she might wish to.
This is another triumph for The Ustinov, James Dacre directing brings us to the very edge of each character and the raw emotions are always a beat away. Breathtaking work in this gem of a venue a great treat for any theatre goer.