Review: 4**** Adam and Eve – Hope Theatre @TheHopeTheatre

Tweetingit: 4* Newlywed couple set up home dreaming of domestic bliss. Their happiness is shattered when proverbial hits the fan. Excellent storytelling packed into an hour.

A band was tuning up in the basement when I got to the Hope and Anchor in Islington. It was reminder of the venue’s origins as a bastion of live music. It now has its own version of upstairs downstairs with the Hope Theatre above a bustling bar. The theatre has gone from strength to strength with its commitment to new writers and reactivated classics. Their latest production is Adam and Eve; the tale of a seemingly happy relationship that turns to dust when accusations begin to fly.2 (2)

The story begins at the end as Adam and Eve are raking over the coals of a failed relationship. Always a risky strategy for a writer, but this tactic works brilliantly as we find out exactly why the relationship failed. Adam (Lee Knight), an English teacher falls madly in love with estate agent Eve (Jeannie Dickinson). Their courtship is captured in bite sized segments and never fails to charm. In Eve’s words ‘I knew him before I knew him…if you know what I mean’. Yes, we know exactly what you mean; but this isn’t a sentimental, sickly sweet love story. It’s a genuine realisation that two people have truly found their other half. Adam and Eve: it was just meant to be, or so it would seem?

The couple quickly settle into married life and embrace domestic bliss. Eve finds the perfect house; a place where they can raise a family and grow old together. All seems fine and dandy until Adam is confronted with Nikki (Melissa Parker), an unruly student determined to drag her heels at every opportunity. Accusations are made and Adam is suspended from his job. Cracks appear in their relationship as Eve seriously begins to question how well she knows Adam.

What is remarkable about this play is the ease with which tells a complete story in 60 minutes. There is an end-to-end feel in the narrative that traces the beginning and end of a relationship.2 Quite an achievement, as the characters’ backstories are sufficiently detailed to ensure the story hangs together as a coherent piece. Far too often, the fringe presents fragments of a play where essential elements are left on the drawing board. Yes, the fringe is a laboratory and testing ground for new ideas. But it also owes the audience a fully formed narrative, especially where plays are concerned. Adam and Eve go above and beyond this standard with exemplary storytelling and sound acting. Lee Knight and Jeannie Dickinson were excellent in the title roles as was Melissa Parker as Nikki. Tim Cook displays a perceptive eye for strong characters and clear plotting; an impressive production in every respect.

Author: Tim Cook

Director: Jennifer Davis

Producer: Broken Silence Theatre

Box Office: 0333 666 3366

Booking Link: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/225873

Booking until: 9 June 2018

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