By Martin Crimp
Directed by Martin Crimp
Venue: Orange Tree Theatre
Date: Thursday 29th March 2012
This was the older of the two plays in this afternoon’s performance, and for us it was the more enjoyable piece. Done originally as a radio play, it worked very well in this staging; the cast set up the space as a radio studio, with tables and chairs at diagonally opposite corners, a sound desk far left from us, microphones suspended above each table and not much else. Obi Abili sat by the sound desk, but didn’t have any lines.
Done as a rambling reminiscence, we gradually learned about these two characters, Milly (Kate Fahy) and Frank (Ian Gelder), their son and daughter ( I forget their names now) and Marijke (Lily James), their au pair. The brightness of their opening chatter took a darker turn, with hints of sexual abuse, but while there were fewer laughs later on, the whole play had a lot of insight into human nature which made it interesting for us.
The humour mainly came through the communication between Milly and Frank, and after all our years of marriage, Steve and I could recognise some of the patterns. They argued over whether an incident had happened in one place or the other, and although the conversation had moved on some time before, when Milly went out for a moment, Frank returned to the point of contention with “It was definitely the Bahamas”, which got a good laugh.