A lunchtime show beats a sandwich at your desk. This perfectly handled half-hour from Frontier Theatre, written by Susan Hill, plays just off Fleet Street and more than justifies being a tiny bit late back to the office. The setting is a sun-bathed bench overlooking the sea, and the occasion – a casual rendezvous between a young girl and her elderly, mute friend – reveals itself as a touching vignette about youth, age and what we want for our lives.
Portia Van de Braam effuses charm as the young hotel maid chatting about her work and wishes and telling stories about her family and her man. The character has quiet ambition and a poetic streak that, infused with an efficient realism, only adds to her appeal. Director Harry Burton has spotted a real talent here.
Her companion – unnamed and unspeaking – is played by Sally Faulkner in a performance that is a highly-skilled close study. She sits in silence, radiating companionability, careful not to offer an opinion through her gentle reactions. We wonder, but can only guess, how her young friend’s fears about future disappointments relate to her. What to do with your time is the question carefully left open. Going to a play at lunchtime might be a good start.
Until 1 March 2017 performed in rep with The Last Dance by Mitch Hooper.