Seen at the Bristol Old Vic.
It is very unusual for me to review the same production twice, but having seen this show at the Edinburgh Fringe I was delighted that it was also coming to Bristol so I could see it again. Simply put, this is a glorious piece of theatre; witty, clever, engaging and thought provoking.
Oscar and Nell meet on a beach in Dorset at various points in their lives - they share dreams, love, arguments and insults, everything except an honesty about their feelings for each other. Meanwhile, the world goes from the Elizabethan era, through the 19th century, to between the wars and finally the present day. Each time they meet, they have moved on a few years but the world has moved a few decades (or centuries). Each time, society has moved on and Nell's position as a woman becomes more free, or perhaps just differently restricted? A bizarre but curiously thought provoking piece. This may sound confusing, but it really isn't as the two actors effortlessly create and inhabit the world drawing us in and carrying us along with their enthusiasm. Ok, so it is far from effortless, it is just made to appear so by the ease with which these two interact with each other as actors and characters and with us, the audience.
This really is a beautifully crafted and performed piece, and I'm not just saying that because they give out sweets! Sometimes it is wonderful to just watch theatre being theatre; entertaining, exciting, funny, clever and witty. A faiground mirror held up to life and a thoroughly enjoyable evening.