30 April 2011 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews We’re in the United States, on a jetty in one of those seaside villages where life revolves around incomers’ second, holiday homes. Out of season, the locals look after the shuttered properties and scrape a living doing whatever comes along. There's usually not a lot of it, nor is the work which offers itself of great value.
The strength of
Stephen Belber’s play for two actors which is receiving its European première at the HighTide Festival is that this location could just as easily be anywhere on the coast of island or mainland Europe where this pattern of lifestyle is now the norm. The weakness is that the man and woman we meet are a little too stereotypical to engage our sympathy as completely as they should do.
She was a teenager when they first met, secure in an affluent and nurturing home background. He was a local lad, with any promise the future might hold out already blurred and tattering. Some 25 years later, she breaks in to the house her family had once rented – and he, the caretaker, catches her. The tides of experience have washed them onto very different shores, as we gradually discover.
Katherine Kingsley as Molly, professionally high-powered but emotionally under-fuelled, catches just the right sort of superficial brittleness for the divorcée who has to live in and for the present, because the past is riddled with thorns of regret which stab. Ray is a man who has made too many mistakes ever to be at ease with himself; vocally dark and brooding, Paul Blair is a little too monotone to let us emphasise with and even fully understand the casual violence which has since blighted his life.
There’s an extremely effective set by
takis, with reeds truncating the jetty with its mooring bollards and old-fashioned street lamps. Steven Atkinson directs with an obvious conviction in the play, perhaps overly so. I felt the epilogue flash-back is redundant; it doesn’t tell us anything which hasn’t already been expressed by Molly and Ray. - by Anne Morley-Priestman Related Content
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014 The forthcoming X Factor musical will be called I Can't Sing! The Musical and will premiere at the L... Tanzi Libre First things first, it's great to see the Southwark Playhouse open again. Set halfway down New... Clint Eastwood on board to direct Jersey Boys film? Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood has reportedly been signed up to direct the film version of Jersey B... Michael Coveney: Big Apple bites and Manhattan memories You should always do new things in familiar cities. Over the past few days in New York, I walked a... Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p... : Kendal & co in Podcast Relatively Speaking Q&A Last night (21 May 2013), 140 Whatsonstage.com theatregoers attended Relatively Speaking at the West... Kimberley Walsh & Denise Van Outen toast Tointon in 1st Night Photos: Relatively Speaking Strictly Come Dancing stars Kimberley Walsh, Denise Van Outen and Artem Chigvintsev toasted former S... ATG acquires Broadway's largest theatre The Foxwoods, home of Spider-Man In another significant step for transatlantic theatre relations, the UK’s biggest theatre ... Sheila Hancock shows wild side in Video: Barking in Essex trailer As this new trailer reveals, Sheila Hancock has had a dramatic TOWIE-style makeover for her forthcom... : Critics convinced by Review Round-up Relatively Speaking? Lindsay Posner's revival of Alan Ayckbourn's Relatively Speaking opened at the Wyndham's Theatre las...