22 to 29 July 2006

DoubleBill

Double Bill: Still Life & Between Mouthfuls

Still Life

by Noel Coward

directed by Alex McQuillen-Wright

“It all started on an ordinary day in the most ordinary place in the world… the refreshment room of Milford Junction station.”

This is the story of an ordinary woman and a kind stranger, whose accidental meeting leads to a doomed love affair. Set against the backdrop of 1930’s middle-class morality, Still Life charts the troubled waters of adultery between suburban housewife and mother, Laura Jesson and GP Dr. Alec Harvey, a story more familiar to many as the classic film Brief Encounter.

The danger, guilt and thrill of that illicit liaison, offset by the working-class banter of the ticket inspector and the proprietress of the tearoom, charges our emotions and responses and give the play its rich texture.

A romantic classic from a master of English social commentary.

Between Mouthfuls

by Alan Ayckbourn

directed by Chris Nunn

Between Mouthfuls is part of Alan Ayckbourn’s five interlinked plays, Confusions, but is an equally engaging piece in its own right. It is set in a restaurant and focuses on the revealing conversations of two disfunctionl relationships. These dialogues are experienced by the audience through the fragments that the waiter overhears as he moves between the tables. On one table are a middle aged couple; bossy, bickering and business-like. On the other are a slightly younger couple; distanced and disinterested in each other. However, as the story unfolds, the characters reveal their true colours and feelings.

The piece is portrayed in a highly amusing way through the deadpan manner of the waiter but, at the same time, as we are invited to laugh at these situations, the play also highlights some of the great truths about human nature.

Review