L to R: Cath (Rachel Evans), Phil (Toby Minor) and Pat (Rachel Space)
L to R: Phil (Toby Minor) and Cath (Rachel Evans)
Cath and Phil (Rachel Evans and Toby Minor) in the same jumper
Pat (Rachel Space)
Dec 06-Dec 22, 2002
Hear, hear for 'Here'
- By Cheryl Thornburg, Las Cruces Sun News [ C-1, December 13, 2002 ]
Director Ceil Herman and No Strings Theatre Company have done it again. Polished performances and painstaking attention to details in "Here" add one more gem to a string of the most professional theater productions in the area.
British playwright Michael Frayn, best known for "Noises Off," takes a simple look at complicated relationships in this comedy. It is the story of Phil and Cath, a young couple just starting out who move into a vacant apartment .
Toby Minor as Phil and Rachel Evans as Cath have definite chemistry on stage -- to the point of being explosive at times as their characters bicker, banter and jockey for position. Both have strong personalities that lead to numerous arguments, but underneath it all they care deeply about each other.
Complicating their lives is their landlady, a buttinsky who turns up at inopportune times and shares stories about her own family and the tensions in her own marriage. But when she speaks of her now-dead husband, underneath the complaints, there is also love -- and loneliness.
Minor, always the master of comedic timing, makes the most of this role as the not always lovable Phil and Evans is convincing and playfully sexy as Cath. Rachel Space, though about 40 years too young for the role of Pat, demonstrates that she is a fine character actress, mimicking to perfection the body language and gait of an old woman.
The title of the play stems from the conflict and indecision as the couple chooses where to place furniture in their new studio apartment-- does the bed go here? Or there? Who wins these battles and subsequent ones over the years is the key to Phil and Cath's relationship.
The play has some funny moments, but the underlying tension adds a serious tone. The intimate setting of the Black Box gives the feeling of eavesdropping on some very personal moments in Phil and Cath's life. For those who have been there -- struggling to make a relationship work and have succeeded or survived -- there will be some bittersweet laughs from this show. For others who are expecting a light romantic comedy, this may be uncomfortable at times.
Set and lighting designer Peter Herman returns to a fairly minimalist set for "Here," allowing the actors to be the focal point and create their own reality, and they do just that.
No seating plan has been posted.