Almost a Review – The Inquiry, Minerva Theatre, Chichester, 14th October 2023

The InquiryWhy almost a review? Well, I saw The Inquiry on its second preview last Saturday night, and usually you can tell when a preview show is pretty much already “there” in terms of having a finalised script, settled staging, confident performances, and sure-footed direction. Last month, we saw the second preview of Never Have I Ever at the same theatre, and, although I had my reservations about the play and its content, there was no denying the fluidity and confidence of the performers and production.

CastHowever, I really did not get that vibe from last Saturday’s performance. Writer Harry Davies – investigations correspondent at The Guardian – watched the show a few seats from us with his pen and pad in hand and a worried look on his face. Fine, reputable actors fluffed their way through scenes with a faltering hold on the script and an uncertainty that you would never associate with them. All of this suggested to me that there had been a flurry of re-writes and they were still coming to terms with them. Press Night was due to take place on Tuesday 17th, but a little online research suggests that it was cancelled, and checking the Chichester Theatre website today the next scheduled performance is the matinee on Saturday 21st. They haven’t even released any production photos, only the rehearsal pics. It doesn’t sound very  promising, does it? Let’s hope that most of the issues that were evident on the 14th will have been resolved by then.

CastSo, to review a preview, or not to review a preview? That is the question. Normally, if that’s the only way I can get to see a play that I want to catch, and provided it’s clear that it is indeed a preview performance that is being reviewed, so one should always make concessions to the fact that it might not yet be tip-top, I don’t see why not. And after all, it was a public, paying performance. So please bear in mind, the production that resurfaces on Saturday may well be a million miles from what I saw last Saturday. In fact, I rather hope it is. As a result, I don’t think it’s fair to give this show a star rating at the moment.

Deborah FindlayThe basis of the play is reasonably straightforward. Thrusting young MP and newly Lord Chancellor, the Right Honourable Arthur Gill is the subject of an inquiry into his dealings with Eastern Water, who appear to have had the unfortunate problem of poisoning their customers with contaminated water supplies. The subject is nothing if not topical. Leading the inquiry is Lady Justice Deborah Wingate, assisted by Jonathan Hayden KC. Gill himself receives advice from a trusted old friend, Lord Patrick Thorncliffe KC. Gill is hotly tipped to become the next party leader, and therefore the next PM. Still, things are looking bad with the inquiry, so it’s time to start playing dirty. Scandals, leaks, and lies abound – and will Lady Wingate ever be able to finalise her inquiry?

John HeffernanIt’s a riveting situation. However, as performed on last Saturday night, it’s not a riveting play. In fact, I always got the sense that there was another play taking place in parallel, that we never get to see, and which sounds a lot more interesting than the one we’re watching. That may be because, whilst it’s called The Inquiry, we never get to observe that inquiry in action. All we see are the background negotiations, plans and rectum-protectum operations. I longed for a courtroom scene to inject a bit of true drama into the proceedings – alas, it wasn’t to be.

Malcolm SinclairIt feels as though the characters are all engaged in pussyfooting around the main meat of the issue, rather than tackling the important subject of people dying from their water supply. That’s because it’s seen from their perspective, rather than from Eastern Water’s and Gills’ victims’ angle. And, to be fair, I don’t think that’s what Harry Davies is attempting to achieve with this play. However, quite what it is he is trying to do also isn’t clear. Additionally, most of the characters are unlikeable; this has the unfortunate side effect of not making you care one way or the other about their fate. And I don’t think I’m giving any games away by adding that – certainly as it was written and performed on Saturday night – the inquiry won’t result in any long term change.

Nicholas RoweMax Jones has created a very antiseptic governmental office for most of the scenes; the boxes of inquiry documents that surround the stage suggest a monument of paperwork that has to be painstakingly gone through – but there’s hardly a box file on stage which implies the opposite, so that design element felt self-contradictory. Mr Jones does however give us Lady Wingate’s charmingly verdant garden terrace as a blaze of colour and calm, and as a beautiful retreat from the stark reality of governmental business.

Macy NymanJohn Heffernan is superb as Gill; a naturally smug politician treading carefully around the pitfalls of his somewhat vivid and busy sexual younger days, and happy to parry-riposte whenever he can to try to regain the upper hand. There’s also a terrific performance from the always reliable Malcolm Sinclair as his advisor Thorncliffe, as slimy and sleazy as they come, marvellously manipulative and condescending. Scenes between those actors are electric with tension. Shazia NichollsHowever, as at Saturday, the other actors still had some ground to make up, shall we say; but fingers crossed that they come through exactly as you would expect when it reopens.

One is used to seeing comedians perform Work in Progress shows, where they chuck new material at an audience to see what lands and what doesn’t. Saturday’s performance almost felt like the theatrical equivalent. As this is only almost a review, of a second night preview, it needs a whole lot of work to bring it up to scratch. But that’s the thing about theatre – miracles do happen.

Rehearsal photos by Manuel Harlan

Review – As You Like It, RSC at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 11th July 2023

As You Like ItThere’s currently a curious interest in theatre where the production is designed to draw the attention of the audience to rehearsal proceedings and backstage insights. A prime example is The Motive and the Cue at the National – and from December at the Noel Coward – which details the creative process that led to the Burton/Gielgud Hamlet on Broadway in 1964. Omar Elerian’s new production of As You Like It that opened at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre last month puts yet another perspective on a backstage approach to a production. Here we have a group of (they won’t mind me saying it) veteran actors, many of whom were in a production of the same play in 1978; and they have come together (with a few thrusting younger performers) to re-enact for us their 45-year-old performances.

Celia Touchstone and RosalindThey weren’t the only veterans at last night’s performance. Not only does this show clearly attract an older demographic, but I also clearly remember the 18-year-old me going to see this production when it moved to London’s Aldwych Theatre in September 1978. Look – here’s the programme!

Interestingly, none of the actors on stage in Stratford was in that Aldwych show – although I did notice one leading actor from the 1978 production in our audience! I recall how I was bowled over by the production, and for many years it was probably in the top ten shows I’d seen. I have a feeling  that some of the music in the current production – the arrangement of Under the Greenwood Tree for example – is either the same as, or extremely similar to, the musical arrangements in the 1978 production. So for me, I also had a lot of opportunity to wallow in the nostalgia of the evening.

PhoebeAna Inés Jabares-Pita’s design primarily concerns itself with a rehearsal room, where the actors present the play, although with all the pictures and written sheets on the back wall it reminded me more of a police murder hunt case room. Of course, it’s a totally artificial presentation in many ways. As the cast gradually arrive on stage at the beginning, they natter with the audience until a stage manager gives the nod that the show is due to start. Then Michael Bertenshaw, who plays Oliver, addresses the audience to explain what’s about to take place. On more than one occasion, James Hayes (Touchstone) turns to the audience to remind them that he is a classical actor, implying that he’s scraping the barrel by appearing in this show – indeed, on one exit, he adds to Shakespeare’s text, “I’m wasted here”. You get the drift. For reasons known to others but not to me, a rock band slowly descends on the stage like a deus ex machina at the end of the first act – giving the cast a chance to have a bop and a boogie. The modern cage contraption that forms this piece of rigging is totally at odds with the bucolic charm we’re straining to imagine and it gets in the way. Admittedly it lifts early in the second act, taking Orlando with it – heaven knows why.

SilviusThere are some nice moments where the older age of the actors is deliberately at odds with the younger age of the characters – David Fielder and Celia Bannerman as Silvius and Phoebe, for example, put an interesting slant on young romantic love. And Rosalind’s reworked epilogue, which reflects the autumn of everyone’s years, is a neat piece of writing – although, I’m not sure it was completely necessary, the epilogue as written by Shakespeare contains ageless pieces of advice! However, I couldn’t help asking myself, beyond entertainment for entertainment’s sake – and of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, what actually is the point of this production? And I don’t mean that negatively – it’s great to get a new perspective, and for the most part it works. But I  got the impression that they were doing this production this way simply because they could; to be honest, it’s more “filler” than “killer”.

RosalindThere are some lulls in the proceedings too; the second act suffers from a lack of scenery and a lack of costume, and whereas it’s easy to imagine the Duke’s Court in the Rehearsal Room it’s far harder to envisage woodland glades. At the end of the show, the back wall gives way to reveal a beautiful tableau of the Forest of Arden – it’s as idyllic a presentation as you could possibly imagine. And it’s at that point that you realise that thatthe Forest – is the main thing that has been lacking in the show. The episodic nature of the later courtship scenes, with Silvius, Phoebe, Audrey and so on, are normally fun as they dart playfully all over the stage forest, but in this production this all feels very static – and I confess, I did get a little bored, which is the cardinal sin of the theatre. It’s also when the forest is revealed, and the actors move towards it that the sense of nostalgia is at its most acute; when their voices start to merge with the recorded voices of the past, it feels like they are genuinely going back in time.

Rosalind and CeliaThere are some splendid performances that really keep the show lifted. Geraldine James as Rosalind and Maureen Beattie as Celia are a perfect pairing, and the evening revolves around them completely. James Hayes brings tons of comedy to Touchstone, and Malcolm Sinclair proves himself to be a remarkably youthful Orlando. Robin Soans does a terrific good cop bad cop routine as the two Dukes – Senior and Frederick; and amongst the younger members of the cast, I particularly enjoyed Rose Wardlaw, especially as Le Beau, realising after a while that he was meant to be French, and Tyreke Leslie whose calm quiet voicing of the role of Adam was very touching.

OrlandoIt’s very quirky, at times it’s very funny, occasionally it’s rather moving, but most of all it’s very charming. Perhaps it’s fair to say this is more of an experiment than an actual production per se, but it succeeds on those grounds. Despite its faults it’s still very entertaining and I’ve never seen a Shakespeare play performed this way before, so that’s a first!

TouchstoneP. S. I did like the fact that, unusually (but like the 1978 production) they didn’t cut Touchstone’s speech about rhetoric, which culminates in his insightful observation, “Your If is your only peacemaker – much virtue in If”. Remembering this production when I was writing an essay about this play at university back in 1980, I pounced upon this line as the key to the whole play, which I determined was all about the art of compromise. I read my essay as my tutor listened in stony silence. His verdict at the end was the brief but damning comment: “Possible interpretation”. In other words, I got it wrong.

Production photos by Ellie Kurttz

4-starsFour They’re Jolly Good Fellows!

Review – Pressure, Ambassadors Theatre, 2nd August 2018

PressureEvery month or so I meet up with my pal the Squire of Sidcup and we do lunch and browse bookshops (as you do.) To shake up the routine this time we went to see a matinee of David Haig’s play Pressure at the Ambassadors Theatre; the Squire observed that he was the youngest person there by several decades. It was my first visit to this charming, dinky little theatre in fourteen years, and it’s great to see it surviving so well. Now see here, Cameron Mackintosh, it’s bad enough you wanting to rename it the Sondheim when its current, age-old name is classy and distinctive as it is; but proposing to knock it down and rebuild it would show an atrocious disrespect for its heritage. In its 105 year history, this Grade II listed building has seen Vivien Leigh take her first West End steps as well as 22 years of The Mousetrap, 11 years of Stomp and countless other great productions – including one of my first dates with (as then) Miss Duncansby as I showed her a good time by taking her to see Dinsdale Landen and Liza Goddard in Wife Begins At Forty, 33 years ago. In the words of Harry Enfield, Oi, Cameron, No!

Eisenhower leads a meetingI digress, as I so often do. Pressure is based on the true story of how Group Captain James Stagg, Meteorologist with the Royal Air Force, persuaded General Dwight D Eisenhower to postpone the date of Operation Overlord – or D-Day as we usually think of it – because of the adverse weather he had predicted for the original date of 5th June 1944. This flew in the face of the advice of Colonel Irving Krick, the American meteorologist in whom Eisenhower usually trusted, who insisted that the weather conditions on 5th June would be perfect. As you can imagine, to say there was a lot riding on this operation would be something of an understatement; not only the safety of the thousands of men involved, but also the long-term benefits gained from a successful invasion of Europe. So it was vital to get the timing right. No wonder the play reveals that Stagg, Eisenhower and Krick had a rather tetchy working relationship.

Andrew and StaggThis may sound like a rather unlikely topic for a play; and indeed you might wonder whether or not it can hold your attention for a full two-and-a-half hours, including interval. The answer is that yes, it can, just… The timespan of the play covers the stressful weekend from Friday 2nd to Tuesday 6th June, broken down into ten scenes – three in Act One and seven in Act Two. The first couple of days are spent arguing the rights and wrongs of the weather map and coming to the tense conclusion that the 6th would be better than the 5th; once the decision has been made, it only remains to see if it was indeed the correct decision, or if Stagg was wrong. As a result, the more significant “action” of the play – such as it is – all comes in the first couple of days; the remaining three or four scenes are all “sit and wait”.

Beneath the surfaceTo fill the waiting time, and to keep our interest up, David Haig turns our attention to the personal relationships between Eisenhower, Stagg and Kay Summersby, who was Eisenhower’s chauffeur and P.A. – and maybe a little more. There’s also a side story concerning Stagg’s wife going into labour, expecting their second child. Stagg is the embodiment of stiff-upper-lip, but nevertheless you can still see the additional nervousness caused by the worry about his wife and child. For me personally, I found the side conversations that revealed the personal issues beneath the surface were more interesting than discussions about isobars.

Big chartsHowever, it did make you think how labour-intensive, and downright slow, the whole weather-forecasting phenomenon was in those days. Today you just click an app and you can see weather fronts skedaddling over whichever piece of land you choose, with the ability to customise the symbols and the degrees whichever way you want. In 1944 people had to create a physical wall chart, with all the barometric lines carefully hand-drawn over a basic map, assembled in response to notifications from individual weather stations that had been telephoned in. It’s a fascinating example of technological progress that we take completely for granted.

More meetingsA relatively large cast for a relatively small stage gives a convincing impression of a busy, military office, with messages constantly being refreshed by lower-ranked personnel, and regular meetings with the Armed Forces hobnobs – not only Eisenhower, but also Carl Andrew Spaatz (Commander of Strategic Air Forces in Europe), Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay, and Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, who, a few months later would become the highest ranking officer to be killed in the war, when his aircraft crashed in the French Alps on the way to Ceylon to take up the post of Air Commander-in-Chief South East Asia Command. Such assembled seniority emphasises even more the importance of the work at hand.

Krick and StaggDavid Haig takes the role of Stagg in his own play, and its an excellent portrayal of a focussed, intelligent, selfless individual compelled to hold his own in the face of enormous pressure (see what I did there) to cave in. He adopts a slightly surly Scottish accent – Stagg was born in Dalkeith – and his no-nonsense and no-sentiment approach to his life and work is very believable. His wiry nervousness is an excellent contrast to Malcolm Sinclair’s naturally relaxed but extremely powerful performance as Eisenhower, the kind of man who simply exudes authority and rarely has to raise his voice to get what he wants – but when he does, you really stand to attention. Making up the office triumvirate, Laura Rogers is excellent as Kay Summersby, on one hand insisting on conversational niceties like please and thank you, on the other, prepared to drive hours out of her way just to allay Stagg’s fears about his wife. The final exchange between her and Eisenhower was probably the best individual thirty seconds in the entire play.

KayThere’s also great support from the rest of the cast, especially the smarmy personality of Krick conveyed very effectively by Philip Cairns and the willing helpfulness of gopher Flight-Lieutenant Andrew Carter played by Bert Seymour. Pressure has already enjoyed a revival UK tour – it originally saw light of day back in 2014 – and its run at the Ambassadors is scheduled through to the 1st September. An unusual, well-structured and detailed play that considers a vital, but frequently overlooked weekend during the war. I’d be lying if I said I was riveted by it, but it certainly makes you think!

Review – Rattigan’s Nijinsky, Festival Theatre, Chichester, 20th August 2011

Chichester Festival TheatreFor this year’s Chichester trip, we thought we’d immerse ourselves in the joys of Terence Rattigan’s centenary year. So on a whirlwind day out, we took in a matinee and an evening performance of two different plays, one a Rattigan perennial, the other a more experimental experience, both directed by Philip Franks, and with a number of the same actors in both.

Rattigan's Nijinsky A few years before he died, Rattigan was working on a TV screenplay about Nijinsky (not the racehorse) and his relationship with Diaghilev. The story goes that Rattigan pulled it from the BBC production team because of an argument about its content with Nijinsky’s widow Romola. Thus it was never made, performed or even published. “Rattigan’s Nijinsky”, by Nicholas Wright, takes Rattigan’s screenplay – or some of what remains of it – and creates a new play with Rattigan himself centre stage, in a suite at Claridge’s, having meetings with Romola and his BBC director, but principally seeing his screenplay unfold through his mind’s eye; observing the interactions between Nijinksy, Diaghilev, Romola, and his other characters. So there is the challenge for the director – making the reality of the Claridge’s suite and the imagination of the screenplay co-exist on the stage.

In the words of Linda Barker, I thought it worked really well. The occasional change of lighting, and occasional soft sound effect, help separate the two but for the most part, it’s as real on stage as it is real in Rattigan’s mind. Upstage becomes a dance studio or a ship’s deck; centre stage is Claridge’s sofa and champagne, with characters from the hotel drifting in alongside characters from the story. But what’s the purpose behind it all? My original thoughts were that a lot of it was about the vividness of the creative experience – Rattigan imagining the play going on around him – enjoying some of it, finding other parts disturbing, rather like an ordinary member of the audience. Mrs Chrisparkle felt it was more of a drug trip. Rattigan’s declining health is causing a lot of pain and he frequently reaches for a dodgy elixir acquired in Bermuda. The more he drinks this painkiller, the more bizarre some of the apparitions become. On reflection, I think she’s got it right. This raises lots of interesting questions about what is real and what is imagined, and gives the whole play an additional dimension of curiosity.

Joseph DrakeHaving the same actor play Nijinsky and Donald the room-service boy, who wants to provide Rattigan with something distinctly off-menu, (or is that Rattigan’s wishful thinking?) is very effective as characteristics of the one get merged into the other. Joseph Drake puts in two very good performances in what must be a physically demanding two and a half hours, with several costume as well as character changes. Similarly, Jonathan Hyde plays both Diaghilev and Cedric the BBC man. These two characters couldn’t be further apart. Jonathan HydeDiaghilev is eerily elegant, with something of the vampire in his appearance, feasting on easily-led young men, and not used to being thwarted; Cedric is a scruffy laid-back guy, appreciative of Rattigan’s artistry but more concerned with the practicalities of dealing with the BBC hierarchy. Jonathan Hyde captured the essence of both men really well, and despite his affected appearance made Diaghilev a totally believable character.

It’s not all deep and meaningful. The scene with Cedric, for example, is also hilarious, as is the scene between Rattigan and his mother, and much of the play has a very nice undercurrent of humour that keeps it moving along. Personally I thought the second act got slightly bogged down at one stage; Mrs Chrisparkle thought I was being too critical. Chenin Blanc Maybe that was the effect of the interval glass of Chenin Blanc that I can highly recommend. Something we both completely agreed about was a really awful moment early on in the play when Nijinsky as a boy is being taken through his paces by the Ballet Master. The boy is challenged to leap high, over a stick held out by the Ballet Master; which the boy then raises, implying he can leap higher than that. Nice, I thought; shows his confidence and arrogance, and also implies he’s a damn good leaper. But then his leap is represented by them lifting the boy up so that he is held in a tableau pose that I can only say makes him look like Michael Flatley’s love child in some nightmare form of “Lord of the Dance”. It’s ridiculous, unsubtle and a bit embarrassing. I’m sure a talented director like Mr Franks could have found a better way of communicating that to the audience. No criticism of young Jude Loseby playing the nine-year-old Nijinsky who I thought otherwise was rather good.

Malcolm SinclairAt the heart of the play is Malcolm Sinclair’s performance as Rattigan. He’s quite a favourite actor of ours, having been in the wonderful Racing Demon earlier this year – we still don’t understand why that didn’t transfer. Here again he commands the stage with a natural authority, engaging easily with the audience so they are completely on his side; his facial expressions and vocal delivery allowing us to see into the real Rattigan, the one we could never see when he was alive. It’s a great performance – but I also think Nicholas Wright has written a pretty good role too. I confess I was moved to buy the play text afterwards.

Susan TracyIt’s an excellent ensemble, and everyone carried it off well; perhaps an additional mention to Susan Tracy as (inter alia) the elder Romola, full of tight-lipped ire in a superbly well-written scene, and also as Rattigan’s mother, desperately trying to pry into her son’s private life but still never seeing the truth.

It’s an experimental production, and definitely worth the experiment. It gives you much to think about, and is definitely one of those plays you discuss for some time after. I still think a lot of the play is about the creative experience – something I always enjoy in a piece. I also find it satisfying when the characters don’t end up at the same place as where they started – and Rattigan’s character development keeps you on edge, let alone the very active and absorbing story about Diaghilev and Nijinsky. The audience at last Saturday’s matinee was disappointingly small – perhaps half full – but very enthusiastic in its response. There are only three performances left before it closes on 3rd September; if you can get it to see it, I would highly recommend it.

Review – Racing Demon, Crucible, Sheffield, 19th February 2011

David Hare SeasonI think it’s about eight years since we last visited Sheffield. The approach to the theatre complex now is so smart and elegant, full of welcoming restaurants, with beautifully lit municipal buildings with lovely fountains, and a real walk-through Winter Garden, that I barely recognised the place.

The Crucible too has had a refit since our last visit and it must be now one of the most welcoming and comfortable theatres in the country. Really impressed. All this, and ridiculously cheap tickets too. We had seats three rows from the front but slightly on the side (didn’t matter at all not being at the front because the show was so sensibly blocked, unlike….) and they were only £13 each.

Racing DemonSo we went to Sheffield to get a bit of the David Hare season action. He is a writer I have always admired, and even when his plays are a bit on the dark side, he is still thought-provoking and substantial. Racing Demon is his 1990 play about the ups and downs of a parish team of four vicars, with a wider questioning of the rights and wrongs of the Christian Church. At that time Mrs Chrisparkle and I didn’t see a lot of theatre so this play was brand new to us. And what a play it is. Believable characters, extremely funny, serious issues, heartbreaking moments. It really deserves its reputation as one of the best plays of recent years.

Malcolm SinclairIt’s largely a bare stage with occasional furniture brought on to suggest locations, but the dominating scenery is the Mackintosh-inspired back wall which lights up to create different shapes suggesting a church or a cross, and which conceals doors to the back. It’s very impressive. The play opens with the Rev Lionel Espy apparently praying but really, deep down, arguing with God. It’s a brilliant opening speech and completely sets the scene for the whole play. Malcolm Sinclair’s performance perfectly conveys a man desperately trying to do his best in a job he has been in too long. He wants to succour his flock, but he doesn’t believe the Church is supporting him in the right way – and in truth he is more interested in politicising his sermons and pastoral work with a practical anti-poverty stance, rather than by taking the sacrament seriously. Sometimes he resists the powers that work against him; sometimes he crumbles. It’s a fantastic performance, wholly credible.

Jamie Parker It’s his young curate, Tony Ferris, played by Jamie Parker, possessed of too much of the fire and zeal of the evangelist to be satisfied with Espy’s relaxed form of vicaring, who starts the rift that will ultimately be Espy’s downfall. We saw Jamie Parker in another Hare play last year, My Zinc Bed, and he gave a very convincing performance of the misery of alcoholism. Here his enthusiasm for Christ rides roughshod over all his relationships and his progress towards what you expect will soon become slight insanity is chillingly told. There is a particular scene where he discusses his past relationship with his ex-girl friend, and his emotional disconnection with the real world actually makes the audience gasp. Fantastically well done.

Matthew Cottle The whole cast are wonderful actually – it’s all completely convincing. I loved the contrast between the ways the four vicars are shown in their quiet moments with God. It’s the writing that does it, but Matthew Cottle’s simplistically happy Rev “Streaky” Bacon wonderfully offsets the darker side of religious doubts offered elsewhere in the play. Jonathan Coy Jonathan Coy as the Bishop of Southwark was genuinely scary in his anger – although his main argument is with the ordination of women bishops – it was 1990 when this play came out, and how many women bishops do we have today? Ian Gelder Excellent support from Ian Gelder (who I remember seeing as Private Steven Flowers in Privates on Parade way back in 1978) as the Rev Harry Henderson, outed as gay by a tabloid paper – today that would be redundant but in this play has a greater effect, which is the only sign of its slight “dating”; although even then it becomes a revealing barometer of the times. Paul RattrayMore excellent support from Paul Rattray as his friend, and Jane Wymark of Midsomer Murders fame as Espy’s long suffering wife. She prepares coffees on a tray for Espy and his guest and leaves with a concerned look and the serious question “Are you all right with the pouring?” Jane WymarkWith that line she superbly encapsulates so much of their relationship together.

This definitely deserves a transfer. Important subjects are tackled intelligently and acted beautifully. Daniel Evans’ direction allows the story to develop at a decent pace, with clarity and emotion. It’s a winner through and through.