Let's play pretend
Role-playing can spice up even the dullest of relationships. Harold Pinterâs âThe Loverâ shows exactly that as it invites us into the life of a married English couple in the 1960s who have found themselves in quite a rut. Together for ten years, Sarah and Richard attempt to add pizzazz to their relationship by pretending that the other has a lover on the side. Erin Cronican and Brandon Walker in their respective roles, have a playful chemistry that is compelling, yet lighthearted. Although neither actor has yet to master the English accent, they are both convincing and pleasing to watch. This is helped by the theaterâs ambiance. Despite a shady appearance when you first enter the building, when you make your way upstairs to the fourth floor, the theatre is comfortable, close-knit and welcoming. The theatre has limited space, but remains well ventilated. The audience, seated in couch-like chairs, is so close to the stage that it feels as though you are engrossed in the plight of this bored married couple. The jazz music by Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker adds a nice touch to the transitions between scenes. It is the background music that gives the play a mellow 1960s feel. Also, the dim lighting and antiquated furniture pieces were realistic for the playâs time period. The quick transitions of roles were decently timed and added humor at the right moments. However, due to the fast pace, it was a bit difficult to keep up with what was role-play and what were the real marital issues between the couple. More straightforward dialogue between the characters would clear up this confusion. Of course though, the ambiguity only adds to the beauty of Pinterâs story. Ultimately, The Lover is a play about trying something new when boredom strikes an aging relationship. It is sad that a couple has to go to such great lengths to keep the spark alive, but to each his own. Most couples probably wonât go so far as to pretend to have mistresses and lovers on the side, but spicing things up can always break the monotony.
The Lover on Monday, Aug 6th, 2012