Two Hearts is from The Anchor productions, a venture began by Jessica Arthur, Eliza Scott and Laura Leathlean after the women studied together at NIDA and discovered a similar quality in their approach to making theatre.
Two Hearts is a short one hour show about The Relationship from start to sad end, recounted over time. I feel like I have seen this show before – the twenty-something navel gaze that focuses on a relationship is not new fodder for theatre, far from it. The subject is usually interspersed with much humour, this time writer Laura Lethlean has kept it serious and showed the two people warts and all, from their loved-up beginning to the barely concealed irritation that flares at the end. Also the sadness that pervades at the conclusion was a very big part of the proceedings.
Fine performances from all, especially Damon Manns as the young man in love. He made this show very easy to watch with a natural and sunny disposition, Phoebe Grainer is compelling if something of a mystery to the proceedings, she is a sounding board for the couple’s observations and anxieties, but also seems a part of both of their pasts. She is invested in the two, maybe a little more with him than her, which left confusion – is she his ex, or her friend? Eliza Scott’s performance felt over-worked at times, she needed a more restrained approach, keeping in line with the others.
The end of the story was depressingly predictable and elements of the young woman’s predicament near the end felt contrived, as did his reaction, which was completely banal with his repetitive ‘whatever you want’ reaction. Nothing new here, nothing bad either, just a lukewarm play about the complexities of the mating game. Highlights? His take on the perfect wedding proposal, including Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, is golden. This guy is in love, but for how long?
Presented by The Anchor and bAKEHOUSE Theatre Co at KXT, Two Hearts is on until 4 Nov, for more information and tickets see: http://www.kingsxtheatre.com/two-hearts/
Directed by Jessica Arthur
Featuring: Eliza Scott, Phoebe Grainer and Damon Manns
Image by Claire Hawley