SATURN RETURNS To 27 November.


by Noah Haidle.

Finborough Theatre above the Finborough Wine Café 118 Finborough Road SW10 9ED To 22 November 2010.
Tue-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sat & Sun 3pm.
Runs 1hr 25min No interval.

0844 847 1652 (24hr no booking fee). (reduced full-priced tickets online).
Review: Timothy Ramsden 7 November.

Loss, regret and the tenacity of love in drama of growing force.
This is a rarity, a powerful, unmawkish love story. Its force comes from the contrast between steadfast memories of love and desire, and the losses and transience of time. And the way future regrets emerge from present misjudgements.

American playwright Noah Haidle pushes up the temperature by his unconventional casting design. The one male character is played at different ages by three actors, while the three different women, all roughly the same age, are played by Lisa Carruccio Came.

And fine as Richard Evans, Nicholas Gecks and Richard Harper are as three ages of Gustin Novak, it’s Came who gives Adam Lenson’s Finborough production much of its vibrancy. Her lightness as carer, daughter and wife in the three ages of this man includes a sense of each of her characters’ depth and determination.

The loosest relationship is that of Suzanne with 88-year old Gustin, physically fit but wracked by long-term loneliness, refusing to submerge himself into an old-people’s home. But it’s the memories of the daughter he lost when 58, and the wife whose fate was sealed in a moment of joyous reconciliation after an argument when he was 28, that provide the play’s urgency, just as Came’s reappearance in those roles provides a youthful energy reacting against the stasis of Gustin’s unchanging home.

Bitter regret hints at the cruelty of linear time, and the title refers to circularity – Saturn returns to the same point in thirty year cycles, presaging something significant. If there isn’t the sense of salvation through circular time contained in J B Priestley’s time-plays, there’s.the longing for it, reaching a crushing climax as both older Gustins attack their younger self in the urge to prevent tragedy.

He shows a vague sense of their meaning, and certainly feels their presence – recalling the sense of continuity across twenty years in Priestley’s Time and the Conways. Yet Haidle’s isn’t a time-theory play, but one that, beginning stolidly (there’s even a reference to archetypal relationship-across-boundaries drama Driving Miss Daisy), develops a forceful sense of love, loss, recall and regret, with optimism in the continuance of love across the decades.

Suzanne/Zephyr/Loretta: Lisa Caruccio Came.
Gustin Novak at 88: Richard Evans.
Gustin Novak at 58: Nicholas Gecks.
Gustin Novak at 28: Christopher Harper.

Director: Adam Lenson.
Designer/Costume: Bec Chippendale.
Lighting: Chris Withers.
Sound: Sean Ephgrave.
Composer: Richard Bates.

2010-11-10 09:23:17

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