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Half Life by John Mighton

Ustinov Studio​

Directed by Nancy Meckler​

 

The much anticipated new season at The Ustinov Studio has arrived and is a celebration of plays from North America. Half Life is the beautifully crafted story of love between two elderly residents in a nursing home.

  

Patrick was once a mathematician and code breaker who strikes up a romance with Clara a fragile, innocent beauty whose memory is fading. Emotions understandably run high as the children try to come to terms with this relationship.

  

This is a delicate and humourous exploration of life, love and memory. The humour and lightness of touch from Mighton and Director Mekler ensures that there is much to be discussed and challenged in this thought provoking piece.

  

The cast is outstanding both Helen Ryan (Clara) and Patrick Godfrey (Patrick) as the older romantics are delightful; with a sensitivity and warmth that is hard to refuse. Raymond Coulthard (Donald) reeling from the death of his father finds the new situation unfathomable whilst the energy and positivity of Patricia Potter (Anna) is at odds with his order and beliefs.

  

The conflicts and opposing forces propel this play along, there is little sentimentality the issues are very real and often painful.

  

There is always much to look forward to at The Ustinov and this is no exception, a wonderfully compassionate study of love and life; regardless of age.

 

**** – 4 Stars

Petra Schofield