The Duration by Bruce Graham. Omnibus Theatre, Clapham North Side, London to 26 September 2021. 4**** stars. William Russell

Audrey, a distinguished historian has left her teaching job suddenly and taken refuge in a lonely cabin in the Pennsylvania hills. It is autumn 2001 some time after the attack on the twin towers. Her writer daughter Emma turns up to try to make her mother see reason. Then her son Douglas, Emma’s twin, arrives. Audrey, a woman of impeccable left wing beliefs, has settled into the mountain world quite happily, adopted some feral cats, and acquired a gun. It takes time for the reason for the change in the initially trim a tidy Audrey who has becomes slovenly and ever more angry but it is worth sticking with Bruce Graham’s play to find out. At the same time Audrey is attending one of those self help groups and talking about the problems in her own life. He has set this family in crisis against what happened in America following nine eleven and the war against terror which he sees as leading to the rise in racist isolationist politics. Director Jelena Budimir poses the question – would Trump have become president without nine eleven and without him would the events that followed happened. It is challenging play which gets fine performances from Sarah Finigan, a tiny, wired up Audrey gradually getting ever more obsessed with her researches and more slovenly by the day, Florence Roberts the troubled Emma and Jason Wilson as the concerned Douglas. It all has to do with that assault on the twin towers which created a new dangerous world, except that perhaps it only built on foundations already there. Graham takes his time revealing where the play is headed but it is worth sticking with him and in the end it is powerful and thought provoking ninety minutes.
Sarah Finigan: Audrey.
Florence Roberts: Emma.
Jason Wilson: Douglas.

Director: Jelena Budimir.
Set & Costume Designer: Sarah Jane Booth.
Lighting Designer: Andrew Caddies.
Sound Designer: Joe Dines.
Photograph of Sarah Finigan: Nicholas Dawkes

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