I Can’t Remember Anything & Clara
by Arthur Miller.
Theatro Technis To 25 10 16.
26 Crowndale Road, London NW1 1TT
Tues-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sat & Sun 3pm.
Runs 2 hr One interval.
TICKETS: 020 7387 6617.
Review: William Russell 2 October.
Losing one’s mind
These two one act plays be Arthur Miller both deal with people confronted with the fact that their memory is failing them, although the circumstances are different. But the pairing makes sense and gives the actors chances which are seized with relish to considerable effect.
Miller wrote several one act plays of which these two were paired from the start. In the first – I Can’t Remember Anything – Leo is visited by his estranged wife Leonora who, although they live apart, visits regularly. Gradually we realise that she is starting to forget the past, while he is setting in motion what he wants to happen after his death. The result is touching and gets fine performances from Julian Bird as the irascible Leo and Deborah Javor as Leonora, impulsive, too fond of liquor and slowly realising something is wrong.
Julian Bird comes into his own in the second play, Clara, as Albert Kroll discovered in a dead faint on the floor of his daughter Clara’s apartment. He has come on a visit and discovered her dead body. She has been murdered. A tense confrontation follows between Albert and the rather peculiar policeman trying to find out from the shocked man – Bird copes skilfully with showing Albert’s return to the world to realising why he had gone to visit her – if he can explain anything about his presence and his daughter’s life.
The detective, of course, wonders whether Albert could be the killer. It makes engrossing theatre as slowly things are remembered. Clara, a ghostly presence haunting the soon, had been a prison visitor who had brought home a man, one of those she had worked with now released, to meet the family. But who was he? Not great plays by any means, both are interesting, just the right length for what Miller wants to say, and have been skilfully directed by Nathan Osgood.
Leo/Albert Kroll: Julian Bird.
Leonora: Deborah Javor.
Detective Fine: Anthony Taylor,
Clara: Kristy Quade.
Director: Nathan Osgood.
Designer: David Meunier-Palmer.
Lighting, Sound & Video Designer: Simeon Miller