– by Jen Perry
Relationships. They’re a bit difficult, aren’t they? This is my lasting impression of The Last Great Hunt’s production of Old Love, a play dealing with what makes people want to be together initially and why that early-stage energy may not necessarily work in any permanent sense.
Written by Chris Isaacs and directed by Jeffrey Jay Fowler, the play introduces us to two couples, one more traditional than the other. Gabby (Arielle Gray) and Jim (Nick Maclaine) live a perfectly normal life. Gabby has a high-stress job and Jim works in software development from home. But beneath the surface of this seemingly content relationship, lurk more contentious issues affecting . These are brought to a breaking point upon meeting good friend Bobby’s (Tim Watts) new girlfriend Flo (Nicola Bartlett). There is a discernable age difference between the two that Gabby and Jim find inordinately difficult to surpass. Hilarity ensues as Gabby commits one social gaffe after the other, fixating on Flo’s age in what many would term an obsessive-compulsive fashion.
Gray’s comedic timing and sheer commitment to what began as a bit of an unlikable character, lends such a layer of complexity to the play which quickly skirted the edges of predictability and took the audience to decidedly unexpected ends. Bartlett as Flo, a spirited and carefree foil to Gabby’s uptight workaholic, gives an enigmatic performance. I couldn’t seem to tear my eyes away. Jim and Bobby, who started out as a bit ornamental to the drama of their partners, became more pleasantly developed as the hour quickly unfolds. Maclaine, in particular, had a wonderful rant about the future of technology and the desire to live forever, even without corporeality.
Old Love gave me more to think about in regards to romantic love, its longevity and questions of compatibility than I had initially expected. It is the mark of clever writing and even more clever actors that this is the case.
Old Love can be seen until Saturday May 2nd at The Blue Room Theatre in Northbridge. For more information and to purchase tickets visit their website.
Image courtesy of Jamie Breen and The Blue Room Theatre.