Ross & Rachel, a new play which was a huge hit at the Edinburgh Festival, comes to The Marlowe Studio in June. Here our Studio Manager, Adam Wood, tells us why his experience with the play in Edinburgh made him determined to bring it to Canterbury.
It was the morning of my last day at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and it’s possible I was tired, but nevertheless I didn’t expect to find myself openly weeping inside a venue that resembled nothing more closely than a shipping container. The venue for the Edinburgh run of James Fritz’s new play Ross & Rachel was not flattering: cramped and hot, staff were handing out cups of water as the audience went in and giving instruction as to what to do if someone fainted. Still, once the play started, none of that mattered any more.
Without giving too much away, Fritz’s script calls for one performer to play both of the titular parts in his or her own accent. It’s a duologue for one, and the level of difficulty for the performer is exceptionally high. Right from the beginning, however, it was clear that Molly Vevers was equal to the task. It was Vevers’ receiving The Stage Award for Acting Excellence that had persuaded me to see Ross & Rachel, and I was immediately glad that I did. By turns animated, reserved, impassioned and distraught, Vevers embodies both halves of the performance flawlessly. And yet this isn’t mimicry: knowledge of the characters in their television portrayal will make you laugh here or there as references crop up once in a while, but the play is more concerned with Ross & Rachel as icons of what it means to be in a long-term relationship. Frtiz’s script and Vevers’ performance are most interested in what it’s like to love someone for years, and to do so despite everything that life throws at you. Put simply, the play is about what it means to be a couple.
I’m thrilled to be able to bring Motor Theatre’s production of Ross & Rachel to The Marlowe Studio. In a season full of excellent-quality theatre, it’s a real highlight for me and a show I can’t wait to experience all over again. I can’t recommend strongly enough that you come along and watch Molly Vevers bring James Fritz’s wonderful play to life. I guarantee you’ll be deeply impressed, and there’s a chance you may shed a tear.
Ross & Rachel:The Marlowe Studio, Friday 17 June. Book here.