Two people coming to terms with their past relationship, revealing previously unspoken truths and resolving their future.
The scenario is established by a brief and unexpected visit from Edward (Jackson Barnard) who brings the news to Kyra (Alicia Zorkovic) that his mother died a year ago and his father Tom (Brant Eustice) has become impossible to live with. Edward is at a loss to understand why Kyra left several years earlier and bemoans the fact that the family home was much happier when she was there. Tom arrives later that same evening and the story unfolds to reveal that Kyra had been an employee, a live-in family friend and ultimately Tom’s secret lover before leaving abruptly when Tom’s wife found out about the relationship.
The script is weighty, witty and engrossing. The verbal sparring between Kyra and Tom is barbed, tinged with regret and delivered well.
The play is set in a simply furnished small flat in a lower economic suburb of London. The main focus is the kitchen from which Kyra produces frequent mugs of tea and, during the first act, apparently cooks pasta sauce. This choreographic aspect is quite fascinating creating an air of domesticity while the players continue their discussion and argument – to the extent that some of the audience were keeping a watchful eye on the hotplates…
Brant Eustice’s portrayal of Tom is forceful. Tom is a brash, controlling individual used to being in charge and very much the dominant personality on stage for most of the play. The only jarring aspect is Tom’s slightly comic East End/Cockney accent that tends to anchor him in time and place when the issues in the play are serious and far more universal. In contrast Alicia Zorkovic’s Kyra is finely drawn, a quieter character that has found her own purpose in life and whose strength and resolve become more evident as the play progresses. Jackson Barnard is well cast as Tom’s son Edward coming to terms with his grief and subsequent life changes from a more youthful perspective.
The play is saved from dissolving into soap opera by its intelligent and insightful dialogue that encompasses a myriad of issues including love, loss, illness, grief, dominance, materialism, education and social justice. Director Tim Williams has delivered a well acted and thought provoking production.