The Journey to Venice ★★★★ Finborough Theatre | Feb 28 - Mar 25, 2023


Bjørg Vik's glimpse into the lives of an elderly couple living on their memories won the Ibsen prize in 1992. It is a poignant meditation on the joys and struggles of old age and is brilliantly interpreted by Annabel Leventon and Tim Hardy. The two actors stunningly bring to life Edith and Oscar Tellmann and their small world of books, bills, cats and imaginary journeys. On the particular day we share with them, their travels are interrupted, and ultimately shared, by two young visitors. Nathan Welsh plays a sympathetic young plumber, with a charming voice, who comes to look at their pipes, and Charlotte Beaumont is the engagingly scatterbrained carer who has been recently assigned to them. Both of these young actors get the tone just right, and their characters' preoccupations provide an interesting generational counterpoint to those of the elderly couple. Director Wiebke Green does a beautiful job of telling the simple and undramatic story of the Tellmanns' current life. It may be punctuated with moments of regret, jealousy, and apprehension, but the strength and serenity of their relationship always shines through. Old age may not be an easy stage in the life journey, but it is a change to see it treated with dignity and respect. It's also refreshing to enter an environment where kindness and caring prevail. Bjørg Vik has created a delightful piece which is excellently translated by Janet Garton. It becomes a very special journey to enter the Tellmanns' world and Hardy and Leventon prove to be the perfect guides. Don't miss this small jewel of a production!

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Simon Annand.

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