The Journey to Venice by Bjerg Vik translated by Janet Garton. The Finborough Theatre, 118 Finborough Road, London SW 10 to 25 March 2023. 4****. William Russell.

An elderly couple in their eighties, Edith and Oscar Tellmann, played by Annabel Leventon and Tim Hardy spend their lives in their run down flat with their cats looking back at their past. She reads to him, they look at films of holidays they have spent together notably in Venice. Their lives are slowly running down, but into their humdrum existence intrude a plumber come to repair some damage in the kitchen and a new cleaner and help, a nervy young woman who is not quite sober and who the libidinous Oscar fancies as indeed he always did fancy other women, while Edith watches and keeps him in control. They had no children, but we discover late in the play, that a son was born who did not live but who would now have been forty. Leventon and Hardy give exquisitely detailed performances and the couple’s plight is desperately moving as old age and infirmity slowly engulfs him while she makes the best of their circumstances knowing it is happening to her too. Nathan Welsh and Charlotte Beaumont, as the intruders, one a cheerful plumber the other a clumsy, pissed and slightly dotty carer, are slowly brought into the couple’s dream world to join them dining at their favourite trattoria in Venice and provide deft support to Leventon and Hardy. It is some time in the late 1950s in a small Norwegian town although it could be anywhere and the play which won the Ibsen Prize in 1992 is one more laurel in the Finborough crown.

Edith Tellmann: Annabel Leventon.

Oscar Tellmann: Tim Hardy.

Christopher Harlsen: Nathan Welsh.

Vivian Sunde: Charlotte Beaumont.

Director: Wiebke Green.

Set & Costume Designer: Kit Hinschcliffe.

Lighting Designer: Martha Godfrey.

Sound Designer: Julian Starr.

Production Photographs:

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