Jab ★★★ Finborough Theatre | Feb 20 - Mar 16, 2024

Don and Anne's twenty-nine years of marriage has mainly been comprised of alcohol-fuelled bickering, and now the situation is exacerbated by the Covid lockdown. When the couple are forced to be together for extended periods, their quarrelling starts to focus on their different attitudes towards having the jab. As a healthcare worker, Anne supports being inoculated, whereas Don, as a Daily Mail reader, refuses to do so. The death toll mounts. Their disagreements take on a darker tone. And on top of all the other frictions, this latest adversity seems to threaten seriously the dispiriting dance that is their relationship. Kacey Ainsworth as Anne, and Liam Tobin as Don, put in strong performances, doing a fine job of conveying the bitterness and tenderness of this volatile marriage. Director Scott Le Crass strives to keep the audience's attention in this relatively static two-hander, but the device of constantly shifting around the set's chairs seems to have no point other than that. James McDermott's play has lots of laughs and some predictable pathos, and we enjoyed the sharp dialogue and the well-drawn characters. But, other than painting a convincing portrait of a toxic relationship and endorsing the importance of trusting health science, Jab doesn't seem to have much of a point.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Steve Gregson

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