This is a double-bill of two-hander plays, which opens with both actors on an uncomplicated set. With a projection backdrop, the first piece, A Scattering seems to be delivered as a poem in the third person. We could well be watching a late 20th Century English adaptation of a Brecht play.
It seems we are watching a story about acceptance and we are taken on a journey though the life within a relationship prior to it coming to an end. An end which was brought about by unforeseen and unnatural causes.
The plays seem to unfold in the order of the title, and the latter is narrated by the man of the story excellently played by Robert Bathurst. In the ‘Chianti’ portion of the play we are taken in and out of the fourth wall as we have moments of naturalism contrasting with moments of narrative spoken to the audience. Now less of a poem, and more of a slightly self-effacing recounting of dating gone wrong. It feels like we should be giving Bathurst’s character a kick up the arse to get him on track, but you can’t help feeling sorry for a man who really does appear to be doing his best, given the lack of self-esteem he clearly has.
There are some excellent animations which really do serve to enhance the telling of the story. Bathurst takes us on the journey on a dry and apparently emotionless journey through the peaks and troughs of a failed love life. However, at times during the 2 plays the emotions are hard-hitting, as we know how his character feels from the recounting of the story.
A fabulous performance from both Bathurst and Johnson, as their characters complete each others’ sentences as only lovers who know each other intimately over many years would do.
Prepare to be moved and amused in this excellently written double bill by Christopher Reid.
Love, Loss and Chianti. Till 28th August at 12.55 pm at Assembly Rooms George Street.