Reunion

Reunion, by Neil Smith, is the story of an older couple, George and Jude, recounting their youth together and their love for one another. It is an enchanting story, told in the beautifully minimalist setting of their garden.

A very intelligent, emotionally dark story of love, loss and lies.

Jill Rutland plays Jude and does an incredible job of carrying us along with her. There is a lot of descriptive text which she could lose us on, but for the most part she does a very good job - only occasionally is there a feeling of it dragging. Her acting is consistent and beautifully heartfelt. She is a joy to watch, even when pulling us down into the depths of her despair. An entrancing and striking performance.

Luke Barton, as George, has an intense earthy quality that matches the strong-willed northern character, who now, in later life, takes up gardening. The love for Jude shown by Barton’s portrayal is touching, and it is around this love that the central story revolves: what people are prepared to do for love, including lying to themselves and each other. His strength and conviction are also obvious and his focus never drops – we are completely taken in by his work.

The script is unapologetic for the violence of the couple’s courting – it tells that particular part of the story from the point of view of an elderly, single-minded man. We make our own judgements of course and rightly so – it should be judged. This show is not suitable for young audiences, though I would strongly recommend this little gem of a two-hander to those interested in a very intelligent, emotionally dark story of love, loss and lies.

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

George and Jude seem like your typical elderly couple, gardening and bickering through their winter years. But as they nervously wait for their daughter and granddaughter to arrive, they're forced to confront the violence and tragedy of their youth. Reunion is a bittersweet exploration into the power of memory, the lies that bind, and how far we’ll go to justify our past. ‘Yer see this soil, this... is wonderful stuff. Put things in the dirt and... it looks after 'em. Keeps 'em warm. Safe. Because... things end. Things die. You. Nan. Me. I'll die. We all...’

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