Now & Then, Above The Stag Theatre - ★★★★ - Until October 6, 2019


Ronnie Larsen's innovative work presents the romance and optimism of youth as it fades into the disappointments and compromises of middle-age and finally evolves into the serenity and acceptance that can be old age. Reality tests what dreams can be achieved and what infatuations are truly love. This is a beautiful tracing of the arc of a relationship that lasts over time, and it is refreshing to see a play which deals with the complexity of how partners can both undermine and nurture each other. We are given pictures of Greg and Daniel at three stages of their lives and director Harry Blumenau does a terrific job of maintaining consistency of character. Freddie Woodyatt as Greg 1 is an excellent embodiment of puppy-like infatuation with a strong dose of practicality and some self-knowledge. Dylan Wynford captures the almost taciturn and deeply ambitious musician that is young Daniel. Rhys Taylor beautifully suggests how middle-aged Greg has remained upbeat but has come to accept the practicalities of daily life, while Taylor Rettke shows how disappointment can morph into self and relationship destructive behaviour. As Greg 3, Leo Andrew is wonderfully nuanced as the upbeat organiser even in the face of aging and death, and Richard Costello does a fine turn as the grown-up, adjusted Daniel who at last appreciates what he has had. The music beautifully underlines the characters' emotions and develops the touching struggles of their love. Even if you are not a country fan, there are ballads here that are bound to move you. For us, Leo Andrew's I Remember Love in the second act was the show-stopper. There are also tunes that will make you want to clap and stomp your feet. Yee-haw, Above The Stag! You have another winner here!


Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until October 6, 2019
Tue - Sat: 7:30 pm, Sun: 6 pm
Above The Stag Theatre
Nearest tube: Vauxhall

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