This to This is an intelligent, thoughtful play, produced by London Ensemble, which features careful attention to casting and many fine performances.
Drew (Scott Ainslie) Jen (Jackie Kane). Photo Courtesy of Simon Annand
Jen and Drew have been married for an undisclosed period of time, but whatever the duration of their union, it appears to be floundering. Drew's eyes are wandering and Jen is fit to be tied – taking care of her rapidly deteriorating mother, who lives with them. At work Drew's boss, Phil is on his back and the grass is looking decidedly greener under his co-worker Rachel's feet.
Rachel (Melanie Gray) Phil (Simon Anderson). Photo courtesy of Simon Annand
Perhaps one of the best things about This to This is that none of these situations end as you think they will. Additionally, the play itself, as well as its finely-tuned, layered performances are rife with unexpected subtext. And frankly, it's refreshing to watch a production that deals with some of life's reoccurring issues that aren't typically dealt with in the theatre: how to deal with a loved one with incurable illness, why some of the laws and subsequent penalties levied in this country are still ‘Dickensian,' and why a person might be better off leaving a relationship if they don't know where they stand in it.
London Ensemble productions and director Robert Wolstenholme deserve full marks for bringing Jackie Kane's sensitive play to the Union Theatre. Hopefully, potential theatregoers will have enough savvy to go to this cozy venue, also, one of Bankside's most reputable, to see this fine production, sensibly avoiding those performances across London, which aim to be ‘cutting edge,' whilst missing the point. With This to This, it isn't so much a matter of an apt moment or two, as it is an engagingly recognisable view of a variety of human scenarios, with their varying measures of laughter and pain. As Jackie Kane's character Jen rather philosophically claims, ‘This is real life.'
• Union Theatre until 17 June