Theatre Review: Two by Jim Cartwright

My latest article on E2D.

“Fancy a night out? How about a couple of pints down at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake? You’ll be served by a cheery landlord and his wife and the characters coming and going are a real treat. At least that’s the case if you go to the theatre’s cosy studio stage for Jim Cartwright’s excellent play, Two.

Theatre by the Lake production ofTWOby Jim Cartwrightdirected by Ian Forrest

The setting, as you might have gathered, is a pub complete with bar, stools and tables. What’s missing is all but two of the actors – hence the title. Instead Matt Addis and Janine Birkett play fourteen characters between them many of whom we never learn names for but that doesn’t matter; we learn about who they are instead.

What’s remarkable about these two actors is how they act with body language as much as with words. Both Addis and Birkett seem able to transform themselves from youth to old age within seconds; so much so that I caught myself worrying at one point that the old lady on the stage might fall and hurt herself. When incorrigible flirt ‘Moth’ hurts himself I had to resist the urge to shout out “serves you right marra!”

The play is cleverly choreographed so that the two actors change roles as if in a dance. Ducking and diving, in and out of doors, sometimes they take roles together, other times it’s a monologue. It may only be two actors on the stage but it feels like a crowd…”

Read the rest of this review here. 


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