17 September 2013

The Speed Twins at the Riverside

I go to the theatre rather a lot but it still seemed like the obvious place to go to celebrate my thirtieth wedding anniversary and the Riverside Theatre was the obvious one to go to.

How could I resist a play that introduce itself as, "Three old women meet as strangers in a spectral version of the Gateways, the lesbian nightclub featured in the film The Killing of Sister George."

On the surface this was another of those sitting around in limbo waiting for heaven/hell plays but that just describes the setting not the substance. Also, unlike some other plays, we get to the "we are in Limbo" realisation quickly and it is just a clarification rather than a significant plot twist.

The play is about reassessing decisions in the light of hindsight and with the opportunity, perhaps, to make some of them again.

The Speed Twins are what two young women in love called themselves before decisions separated them.

They are reunited in a Dyke Bar in Limbo. One of them has just died in her seventies but the other appears in her twenties just as she was when a motorcycle accident, and the consequences, ended the Speed Twins' relationship.

A third woman, dressed, oddly,  as Charlie Chaplin played the role of the critical friend to both forcing them to think about what they want while trying to drink the bar dry at the same time.

The age gap was a neat trick and another came towards the end when instead of the usual heaven/hell option the possibility of resurrection came bringing with it more decisions to think about.

There was one big final twist at the end that left the situation open to interpretation though by then a lot of the relationship and lifestyle questions had been addressed.

The Speed Twins was a very satisfying play performed with feeling. The plot was an interesting theme to string the conversations on and it was the way that those conversations looked at lives lived and emotions endured that gave the play its interest and warmth.

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