And No More Shall We Part

Tom Holloway

Traverse 1

From 30 July 2012 to 26 August 2012

Rating: ***

Review by Philip Fisher

In these days of action-packed entertainment, it is a great rarity to see a detailed, minimalist play delving deeply into a single topic.

Australian playwright, Tom Holloway has been paired with a meticulous director in James Macdonald for this quiet play.

The director has the good fortune to have been able to cast Bill Paterson and Dearbhla Mollow, who each give as married couple Don and Pam, each in late middle age.

Hannah Clark has kept things simple in the design, leaving the actors on a small revolve, turning between the kitchen and bedroom, flanked by visible technicians.

The couple are ordinary enough with two children and the problems that they face are also all too common. Pam has inoperable cancer and we first meet them after she has illegally taken a drug cocktail and is waiting for them to kick in and end her pain forever.

The remainder of close to 90 minutes flips backwards and forwards between the deathbed and earlier scenes as the pair irascibly debate the merits of euthanasia. Calm Pam is sure of her need to avoid the indignity and pain that would otherwise await, while stutteringly inarticulate Don is convinced by arguments founded on religious principles that suicide is wrong.

And No More Shall We Part is likely to be remembered for two outstanding performances from consummate professionals.