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Fifty Words (Bath - tour)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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This stunning play by Michael Weller is the final production for what has been an extraordinary American Season at the Ustinov Studio. Laurence Boswell directs this hard hitting, witty and heartbreaking tale of a married couple home alone for the first time in nearly 10 years as their young son is at a sleepover. What begins as a night of dinner, seduction and champagne uncovers stories, truths and accusation that turn their world upside down. The brilliance is in the detail and the true discussion of, what is love? “there should be fifty words for it, like Eskimos have for snow.”

The beauty of this intricate, painful drama lies in the title, when speaking about love how can it really be measured and compared? To be allowed different levels of love would provide us all with a rationale and permission to ensure that our conscience would be clear and life would certainly be far simpler. However the complexity of the human brain and emotions ensures that this could never happen.

Claire Price as Janine and Richard Clothier, Adam master this piece from the outset. The couple who have grown apart for differing reasons. This is a crackling script full of fun, wit and fury; deftly balanced through which allegiances switch at an alarming rate. A great design from Simon Kenny ensures that the intimacy and claustrophobic nature of the piece is not lost. This coupled with microscopic directorial precision from Boswell makes it a captivating piece of theatre, displaying many home truths and reaching deep into the reality of many parents and partners.

This has been a phenomenal season for the Ustinov 4,000miles received a transfer and the quality of production here once again reflects the astute artistic decision making that Boswell has brought to the venue, it is a perfect relationship which can do no wrong.


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