I LOVE YOU . . . GOODBYE: Frank Bramwell
inamoment theatre at the Old Joint Stock
Runs 2h 30m, one interval. Till 27 04 13
Review: Alexander Ray Edser
Bold, but not entirely happy. moves beyond the grave.
Frank Bramwell’s latest play interweaves two stories, linked by common threads. They both feature couples. I’LL FOLLOW YOU INTO THE DARK imagines Romeo and Juliet awaking in their joint tomb, after their death. UNDERNEATH THE STARS has an older couple, they have had an affair, the man has committed suicide, then we learn so has the woman – though some years later.
It’s an interesting idea to weave the stories together – the long time in limbo appears to be filled with ‘if only’ . . . Not only life, it would seem, but also death is full of pointless regrets. We are flawed beings, the stories imply – ‘I did my best’ is oft repeated. The plays do not end bleakly, though, notes of optimism are struck towards the ends.
Energetic commitment from the four actors, with a strong, natural performance from Linda Hargreaves – Martha, the older woman.
The direction is not entirely happy, with a tendency at times to overlay the texts with additional layer of meaning – the style then becomes ponderous and over portentous.
There’s a third strand in the production – UNDERMATH. This is the least successful element. As these sections stand at the moment they don’t rise above the level of people wandering about speaking lines picked up from earlier or later scenes. Sections like this that rely so heavily on the physicality of the actors need precise and decisive work in order to avoid generalisations which in turn are bemusing.
Juliet: Georgia Christodoulou
Romeo: Mark Roberts
John: Stuart Horobin
Martha: Linda Hargreaves
Directed by: Frank Bramwell, Lauren McCarron
Music and Sound: Mark Taylor