A FINE BRIGHT DAY TODAY
by Philip Goulding.
Coliseum Theatre Fairbottom Street OL1 3SW To 9 July 2011.
Tue-Sat 7.30pm Mat 29 Jun & 9 Jul 2.30pm.
Audio-described: 29 June 7.30pm.
Runs 2hr One interval.
TICKETS: 0161 624 2829.
Review: Stoon 21 June.
A trawl for love worth catching.
Described by the author as a love story stirred by the swirling seas of a coastal location, this is more slow-boat than hi-speed Stenna. ‘A reluctant romance’ would be a truer tagline as our pair of second-time round sweethearts set sail as separate vessels on a voyage of courtship – heading in the same direction albeit with a sizeable buffer zone between them.
Long-time widowed Margaret (Christine Cox) has space a-plenty as adult daughter Rebecca plans to flee the nest to live in sin much to Mommie Dearest’s disgust. Perky Rebecca befriends Milton, a visiting American painter who’s in need of a roof over his head and plays part-cupid, part-rental agent in putting the two solo mates together in the hope of a joint tenancy.
There’s a daytime TV feel to this, in the short multi-scene format linked by a melodramatic score. But Samantha Powers ensures Rebecca’s intentions remain honorable despite her mother’s textbook tabloid reactions and emphasized frostiness. There’s a pleasing thaw during the standout drunken scene between Mother/potential lodger before the first act climaxes with a knee-jerk jolt into a cul de sac designed for effect over absolute credibility.
Robin Bowerman’s gentlemanly pursuit frolics along with Saintly decency despite his rough edges and rings true, though your mind occasionally wanders during his stand-aside monologues which add narrative but little emotional value.
Whilst a soundscape of seagulls and trawler foghorns isn’t a prerequisite, the deafening low-flying aircraft suggest love on a flare-path. Despite the woolly soft glow a thread of humanity runs throughout as you root for a happy outcome, though it remains a cliffhanger until the very end.
It’s a long way from Delphy/Hawke in the supreme cinematic romance Before Sunrise but still rewards viewing in its own right.
Milton: Robin Bowerman.
Margaret: Christine Cox.
Rebecca: Samantha Power.
Director: Kevin Shaw.
Designer: Alison Heffernan.
Lighting: Jane Barrek.
Sound: Lorna Munden.
Composer: Alan Edward Williams.