Snapshots of two lives

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Same Time Next Year by Bernard Slade at the Arundel Jailhouse

ON THE face of it, this is an account of a one-night fling between Doris and George who meet at a Californian inn.

Except it’s more than that.

For the accountant and the housewife, both married to others, decide to repeat the experience in the same place the following year.

And continue to do so for a quarter of a century.

But, in essence, this is not a play about sex. It’s about the way we change over the years.

Each scene revisits the couple in the same hotel room every five years. We learn about their families, their careers, their hopes, fears, and aspirations. Of the enduring affection, and love, between them.

This is two lives in snapshots - full of pathos, wit, tragedy and warmth. As bitter sweet as the existences of most of us viewed through the kaleidoscope of time.

With just a cast of two and a set of one, it’s a tough production to stage - not least in the extraordinary intimacy of the Jailhouse setting.

But Collin Baxter as George and Beth G Russell as Doris do so to perfection. It’s a wonderfully paced, sensitive and vibrant performance from each of them.

And the play has been cleverly updated from the 1975 original to give it a contemporary feel, too.

They did their own stage management and Collin produced and directed it.

Let’s hope they repeat this wonderful production again - same time next year?

Gary Shipton