As careers go, working in the hospitality industry does have a lot of appeal, if you are fond of people and people watching. Take, for instance, working in a cafe or a pub. You have your regulars who you can chat with, you can watch how people are with each other, It certainly beats working in an office, say being an accountant, and crunching figures all day.
The main characters in English playwright Jim Cartwright’s beautifully written play TWO are a married couple who are the publicans of a suburban pub. It’s a job that they love. Cartwright simply calls them Landlord and Land Lady.
TWO’s staging was simplicity itself. The action starts with the couple in conversation and then one of the actors subtly disappears and then soon reappears as one of their beloved patrons. Essentially, these patrons take centre stage.
The play, however, does have a twist to it. The simmering tension between Landlord and Land Lady comes to the boil in the final scene, which takes place with the couple moving from being spectators to themselves taking centre stage!
The play’s single word, enigmatic title is a significant one. It refers to the way that the playwright has just two actors play all fourteen characters – quite a challenge.
Director Mark Kilmurry has chosen well in casting real life husband and wife Brian Meegan and Kate Raison who give something of an acting master class. They share the acting load, each playing seven parts.
We are treated to some wonderful acting as they take on the various characters. Kate Raison’s portrayal of the Other Woman who comes to the pub with the intention of confronting her man with his wife but falls short, and Brian Meegan’s ‘turn’ as a distressed young boy who wanders into the pub looking for his father, were personal favourites.
Alicia Clements compact set comprised a modern main bar area for Landlord and Land Lady to interact, and then there were a few tables and chairs set up for the patrons to interact.
Recommended, Jim Cartwright’s TWO is playing the Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall Street, Kirribilli until 6th May.