Friday, October 5, 2018

Two - Review - Gala Theatre

Gala Theatre
3rd Oct 2018

Written by Jim Cartwright
Directed by Tom Wright
Set design Hannah Sibai

Two takes place over one evening in a traditional pub somewhere in Durham. We meet the landlord and landlady as they serve an array of regulars, and we meet some of the regulars too.

The set is a perfect replica of a traditional pub from the 80s. Dark wood bar, optics full of spirits and taps for the beers, stools ranged round tables adorned with beermats and ash trays - yes, these are the days before smoking bans, when you'd come home from the pub stinking of smoke and beer. From the moment you enter the auditorium you feel like you could be in the local boozer. You can almost smell the smoke and alcohol.

The two actors, Jess Johnson and Christopher Price, play the Landlord and Landlady. Full of smiles and chatter for the customers but spitting insults at each other. it becomes clear as the night progresses that there is a serious issue between the outwardly jovial pair.
Johnson and Price also play all of the other characters who come into the pub - from amorous youngsters to the frail and elderly. They morph from publican to punter with surprising ease, transformed by a change of clothes and facial expression.

The delivery is punchy - literally at times - as we are taken on the rollercoaster experience of meeting the characters and having their true selves revealed. It is funny - belly laugh funny - but also poignant and shocking. price and Johnson constantly build tension and puncture it.
You will laugh, gasp, and maybe cry as the truth is revealed.

A fabulous set, hilarious costumes, and the subtlest lighting, alongside the prodigious talent of these two versatile actors makes this production an experience not to be missed.

Two plays until Sat 6th October. It ought to be on longer! Get a ticket and get the beers in before they call last orders.

Denise Sparrowhawk

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