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My Arms (re:play - Salford)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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My Arms, a play by James Leach in the Library Theatre’s re:play series, illustrates a disturbing scenario.

Rough neck Colin (Josh Moran) returns to his wife, Helen (Susan Twist) after four years in prison. The two try without success to rebuild their relationship and we begin to understand their lack of progress when we are taken back in chronological order to the night of the crime and events leading up to it.

The director, Adam Quayle, brilliantly pulls off the trick of going back in time by illustrating each date on a back screen. The scene before the crime is like the calm before the storm. Yet the actual act was a mistake. It was carried out irrationally, driven by too much alcohol. But it was a mistake with dreadful implications for those affected.

The interaction between Moran and Twist is very effective. Their body language and lack of eye contact tells all.   You sense the wife’s fear of her husband yet somewhere in the depths of their relationship there is something like love. The final scene tells all.

This is a play that not only affects those concerned but those watching, too, although occasionally the pace is a little slow.

- Julia Taylor

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