Back To Where Review

Brockley Jack Studio Theatre – until 14 July 2018.

Reviewed by Antonia Hebbert

4****

Will loves Jane. Jane loves Will. But Will is an Aussie whose UK visa is going to expire because he can’t get the work he wants. So they get married, for convenience, to give themselves time to decide whether they really want to be together. And things start to go wrong.

Back To Where was created through improvisations by Hannah Hawkins (Jane) and Vincent Andriano (Will), with writer-director Colin James. They must have dug deep: the play is very truthful about relationships, at times painfully so. It consists of Will and Jane talking through the night, on a camping trip in the Welsh hills where they are stuck without food or water. (Confession time: due to a snarl-up on the railways, I missed the first 30 minutes so can’t say exactly how they came to be there.)

That might sound rather limited, but for the audience in the tiny Jack Studio Theatre, this is a riveting and intense evening. Will and Jane look back through good times and bad, and express exactly the contradictions and difficulties in relationships even when they are very close: the fun, the awkwardnesses, the way couples can find each other simultaneously lovable and maddening, the crossed wires, the difficulty of listening and expressing oneself. It’s funny, alarming (Vincent Andriano as angry Will), excruciating (because it’s so true) and poignant – Will and Jane won’t find easy answers.

This is the first production from the New Tricks Theatre company, which aims to put on new and inspiring works of theatre. It’s a cracking start.

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