Crucible Studio Theatre, Sheffield – until 21 March 2020
Reviewed by Ian Johnson
World premiere by award winning playwright Chloë Moss
This new play which is 90 minutes straight through is a genuine heart warming and heart wrenching story of a family which spans four decades in front of the audience and takes us from present day backwards through their lives.
This story of two sisters Connie and Ursula played brilliantly by Lucy Ellinson and Helena Lymbery, along with Silas Carson as Connies husband Adrian the cast is completed by Lucas Button as their ‘son” Jack.
We are shown how explosive the marriage of Connie and Adrian is, how Jack is trying to fit in and the vulnerability of Ursula.
The cast are excellent in all their respective roles. I have to say how much admiration I have for both Lucy and Helena who played Connie and Ursula with such believability I was so involved in their lives together.
The first impression is of a lone garden bench on an astro turfed stage/park surrounded by different sized glass cabinets. These are well used throughout the 90 minutes.
We are introduced to Connie who sits waiting on the bench but we are not told who shes waiting for or why (we do find out at the end of the play). While she is there we are transported backwards through the years of her life, introduced to her family and her painful memories of two sisters growing up and growing apart. She has to retrace her life through forty years of caring for others, keeping secrets and being loyal to everyone.
We learn a lot about the lives of Connie and Ursula and the special bond the two sisters have together from being young girls growing up throughout their adult lives to the present day. We are shown the problems, troubles and struggles that they go through.
Life hasnt been plain sailing for Ursula with all the problems shes had to face, but having the love and support of Connie has helped her through life.
We are shown how theve gone from a close bond years ago to being virtual strangers in the present day. Secrets are revealed and hopefully a happy outcome could be the result of the revelation.
This is a case of nurture competing with nature.
This is a Sheffield Theatres, Paines Plough and Soho Theatre production.
Writer Chloë Moss, directed by Charlotte Bennett, designer Rosie Elnile and lighting designer Zoe Spurr.