At some point in our lives we will all experience something that’s turns our worlds upside down and what helps us through in those tough times? Family. It’s family that unites us I believe. Those Two Weeks written by Ian Salmon, is currently being performed at The Unity Theatre in Liverpool and show the effects that two weeks can have on one average family and their relationships with one another.
Set in an 80’s living room at The Hope Theatre it automatically gives you an intimate feeling when you enter, setting the atmosphere well. Those Two Weeks takes us through the relationships in a normal family. Including some typical stereotype relationships such as; the annoying little brother and his relationship with his older brother and of course the Mum and Dad. The portrayal of the younger brother played by Daniel Cassidy is a dedicated performance to his character and Jackie Jones who plays the mother has grasped the right elements for her figure. Overall, it is a well portrayed story by the actors and Those Two Weeks explores a lot of general relationships and dramas that everybody goes through in their lifetime (squeezed into two weeks) - I would be surprised if a member of the audience can’t relate with at least one of the elements in Those Two Weeks.
Incorporated into the story is various comedy element grasping the ‘Scouse Wit & Humour’ well and that provides a light hearted side to the story, but I did feel like there was too much repetition of a particular swear word which after a while became tedious to listen to. I think the biggest problem for me tonight has to be that the definition between the serious and comedy elements throughout the play, at times it wasn’t distinguished clear enough and I felt like audience members where finding elements amusing that was not meant to be. Is this meant to be a comedy play? I’m unsure. I enjoyed the humour a lot but, for me personally I wanted even more elements of seriousness and realism which only really came at the end of the play. Lisa McMahon’s final monologue was strong, powerful and engaging - it takes a lot to cause tears in the audience but she did it and not surprising touching on such a delicate subject for Liverpudlians. I would be keen to see ‘The Next Weeks’ to see just how things change, but I understand from research that Salmon is reluctant to do this.
What caught my attention is the dedication in the programme that says ‘This is for our families, we know how fortunate we are for every moment we’ve been given’ which I thought was beautiful after watching tonight’s performance. You could tell that this was the force behind their performance and it shows a professionalism in actors that are able to be that vulnerable on stage and use their past experiences to enhance their characters. Those Two Weeks has a strong first act and I would be interested to see the development in future that could be from this play but personally for me I would have liked more definition throughout. It’s worth a watch.
Reviewer: Daniel Cox
Reviewed: 28th February 2018
North West End Rating: ★★★