What happens when the boy who met the girl becomes the man who loves the woman?
Literally ‘A love story in disorder,’ Peter and Vandy jumps forward and backward in time, through the shy beginnings to the more tumultuous middles, from young love to old news and everything in between.
With a running time of nearly two hours without an interval in the somewhat cramped Theatre503, the play does the seemingly impossible and keeps the audience clinging onto every word with barely one moment of restlessness. Even the scene changes, which at times take longer than perhaps strictly necessary, are entertaining and seem to give the impression you’re catching a glimpse of the more private moments of the characters, thereby adding another dimension to the plot.
Kirsty Bushell and Joseph Chance have incredible chemistry on stage; the passion, frustration and intimacy between the pair sparkles, and they both giving stunning performances. Bushell’s comedic timing is sheer perfection; and Chance masters Peter’s changing emotions.
Peter and Vandy was nominated for a US Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, and it’s clear to see why. The writing consists not only of deliciously dark comedy but contains such poignant notes of realism that it can’t help but strike a chord with the audience.
Tim Roseman’s direction is impeccable and credit must be given to the lighting, sound and set design (by Richard Howell, [Fergus O’Hare] and Libby Watson respectively), all of which work perfectly in creating a simply stunning piece of theatre.
Occasionally the constant shifting of time becomes confusing and leaves the audience wondering where each scene takes place chronologically. Some scenes give no clear indication of where in time they fall which in turn prevents a resolute ending.
Peter and Vandy combines original, funny yet moving writing with two flawless performances. The production as a whole is impeccable, recreating those memorable moments in a relationship and providing an all too familiar picture for anyone who has ever been in love.
- Rowena Betts