Jump - Review

Jump, subtitled to love and to loathe till death us do part, is a duologue, performed by one actor, that portrays both sides of a marriage in crisis. Sandra Ventris, played both Julia and Jack in a short play that depicted their courtship, wedding and the disintegration of their marriage with tragic consequences.

Through changes in voice and posture the two characters were brought to life –- Jack, being an alcoholic and psychotic wife abuser who strutted and swaggered about the stage whilst Julia, a gentler and insecure creature who so desperately needed to be loved.

Sandra Ventris, a fine actress who I found impressive in The Woman a couple of seasons ago, gave a brave performance although the switch from one person to another was not always clear- cut. As Julia, she was particularly touching but there were times when her voice was so soft and gentle that the words were lost and one had to strain to hear them. One hopes that these points were picked up by the director, David Allen, who also wrote the piece, and put right for the rest of the run.

As to the merits of the play itself I had mixed feelings. There were several occasions when the dialogue lapsed into a formal, not natural style that irritated. As an exploration of victim and domestic abuser one learnt little that was new and was nowhere as powerful as w@rn that was performed a year or two back. It came across as more of an acting exercise. Maybe it would have worked better as a radio play for two voices.

Barrie Jerram