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Fri 20

Footloose

May 16th - May 21st
Fri 20

The Story of Soul

May 20th 7:45 pm
Sat 21
Sat 21

Compartment No.6 (15)

May 21st 7:45 pm

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Same Time Next Year

January 26th - January 29th

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Doris and George meet in 1951, a chance encounter in a Californian hotel that leads to a passionate one-night stand. Both are married to other people but, soon aware that this might be the start of something, they promise to meet 12 months later. So begins a romantic love affair that lasts 25 years. The play charts their lives through the ups and downs of parenthood, career highs and lows as well as the shifting fashions and morals of the passing decades.

Bernard Slade paints a bittersweet, nostalgic and very funny portrait of two likeable protagonists who find themselves in the most unusual of long-term relationships. One of the world’s most widely staged plays, Same Time Next Year was originally produced on Broadway in 1975. It ran for four years, winning a Tony Award for lead actress Ellen Burstyn, who later recreated her role in the successful film of the same title opposite Alan Alda.

Details

Start:
January 26th
End:
January 29th
Event Categories:
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Venue

Festival Theatre
Grange Road
Malvern, WR14 3HB

Other

Price:
1st Night & Thurs Mat: £25.20, £21.84, £18.48, £15.12 & £11.76
Thurs Eve & Sat Mat: £27.44, £24.08, £20.72, £17.36 & £14
Fri & Sat Eve: £29.68, £26.32, £22.96, £19.60 & £16.24
£2 concessions over 60s/unwaged
Under 26s £8.96
Members' discounts apply
Price includes 12% booking fee
Show Times:
Wednesday 26th to Sat 29th January '22
Evenings 7:30pm
Thurs & Sat matinees 2:30pm

Event Reviews

  • The View From The Stalls

    The title kind of says it all. Same Time, Next Year refers to the meeting between two people on the anniversary of when they first met. They are, however, married to different people…

    For their first new show in two years (due to the unmentionable…), London Classic Theatre have chosen Malvern Theatres as the venue to kick off their 10-theatre tour of the show. And first night showed that all the work necessary to stage the play had paid off.

    The author, Canadian Bernard Slade, already had form when it came to writing comedies, having been responsible for The Partridge Family and scripted various episodes of Bewitched on TV), and for this play, he placed the events across three decades, with each of the 6 meetings taking place approximately 5 years apart, starting in 1951 and ending in 1975 (the year he wrote it, in fact). The first of these comes about as a result of an encounter in a restaurant which led the pair (Doris & George) to spend the night together and it is the morning after where the play commences, as guilt and embarrassment (he gets her name wrong for a start!) begin to hit home.

    In American society as elsewhere, these decades were a period of dramatic change - the fight for women's rights, anti-war campaigns and home life changing forever as people became more prosperous. The music which introduced each segment cleverly reflects this, ending with 1975's disco era. We experience these changes exclusively through the eyes of Doris (Sarah Kempton) and George (Kieran Buckeridge) and whilst George's conservative fashion sense does not change much over 25 years (although he does at least sport some bell bottom jeans and a very 70's moustache at one point!), each appearance of Doris is accompanied by a complete change of fashion, especially evident in the 60's hippy era). It is as if a different woman presents herself to George, which is indeed the case as her home life, marriage and a desire for self-improvement evolve. Apart from George's attire, the other thing which doesn’t change much, if at all, is the décor of the hotel room which they use each year, which probably says something about the American hotel or "country inn" industry! (although given that the actors have to reset parts of the stage themselves between episodes, it is not surprising that not much changes). Designer Bek Palmer did well to convey these changes in a simple way, complementing the script and there is just a simple "Happy 5th, 10th etc" board strung up made it clear which year we were watching (although the 19th board was still there for the 25th - the only first night glitch as far as I could see).

    These annual meetings are, of course, totally illicit, neither partner back home knowing what the other is up to during these days away. They are short enough to not be noticed as anything other than the business meeting/religious retreats that they are made out to be so no suspicions are raised. Until one day…

    The humour runs across all 6 short episodes as the details of their respective families are slowly revealed - apart from this one meeting per year, life goes on very much as normal - though less so in the final episode where it is revealed that tragedy has struck. As the pair do not communicate at all throughout the rest of the year, this is the only time they can catch up and a lot can happen in a year, not all of it to each other's liking.

    Both actors play their roles very well and are totally believable with their American accents and their romantic connections, albeit brief, with one another. It is a gentle, perceptive and naturally nostalgic comedy where the audience can decide for themselves whether what this pair is doing is right or wrong, livening up or killing their respective marriages and the question remains, at the point at which both are inevitably left without their partners, will they, after 25 years, get together themselves…?


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