• melaniejhopkins

"Old Times" SHU Review

Old Times is a Harold Pinter three hander piece involving a married couple welcoming back a blast from the past to reminisce on memories of youth and times passed.

The play itself was full of tension so palpable you could almost taste it! All three characters had unique interactions and these were played perfectly by the cast. You could see every small reaction to secretly cutting comments and the awkwardness looming of an almost stranger in the space of a guarded home.

Deeley (TJ Brett) and Kate (Alice Moreland) were a perfect example of a couple living estranged from the bright city lights. Their naturalistic dialogue flowed smoothly off of their tongues as they exchanged in mild conversation waiting for their guest to arrive. TJ Brett I feel played the character Deeley with many sides to him, you could see the intentions behind every rhetorical question of inquisitive comment. His curiosity piqued to make the other ladies feel uncomfortable with intrusive questions yet his laid-back approach really helped the scenes mount tension but also presented an air of calmness where there was anticipated silence. He understood the character inside and out and played him extremely well. I always find that TJ transforms himself physically and aesthetically for each role and he did not disappoint!

Alice Moreland played a fantastic and believable part as Kate. Her vocal quality was excellent and she had a certain effortless charm of comfortability and softness. Her fascination with Anna (her only best friend, not seen in a decade or two) made her seem childlike and wondrous of the past, yet you could see the oppression she was living in when Deeley took ownership of her with his almost unbearably honest comments. I loved her costume and thought this really suited the character and time of the play well. Her monologue towards the end was particularly powerful as said with great emotional depth, paying attention to the detail of every line.

Anna - played by Harli Foster - was a force to be reckoned with. Her facial expressions told us exactly how she was feeling in the moments of awkward silences and boasting of the old times spent with Kate in London. She was very respectful in the scenes however never bowed down to Deeley's hasty interjections. I loved this combination and thought it was spot on. Her singing was particularly fantastic and told us a lot more through the lyrics of her intentions. I thought at first there could have been an attraction to Kate behind her eyes, however her complimentary words were played with sincere admiration.

Fantastic piece - and much to analyse here! The characters were perfectly cast and showed us yet again these are a talented bunch. Well done!