REVIEW: Translunar Paradise, The Unity

NOT a word is spoken during Theatre Ad Infinitum’s astonishing piece of theatre, yet – like the comfortable silences between lovers – what is unsaid speaks loudly.

William sits at his kitchen table, an empty chair to his left, remembering his wife and their lives together as her spirit watches, unable to stem his grief.

A series of flashbacks, performed in a combination of mime and dance, take the audience through their meeting and subsequent romance, fulfilled hopes and dashed dreams.

Original music, performed live on stage by accordionist Kim Heron, sets the mood for each scene.

Heron is as much a part of the ensemble as the two actors – igniting memories with a simple musical phrase and using her instrument to create sound effects.

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A ticking clock as William’s present painstakingly passes, the doom-laden long beep of a hospital heart monitor, the juddering rhythm of a train.

As the elderly couple, Formby High ex-pupil George Mann and Deborah Pugh wear hand-held masks, sucked on to their faces with the sound of a gust of wind, as if old age is something you wear rather than who you are.

Trained at the Lecoq physical theatre school, in Paris, they are masters of storytelling, putting the audience through its emotional paces in a heart-lifting play that shifts from sadness to humour to surprise.

And while William’s loneliness is hard to witness, the togetherness that caused it is something we all strive for.

Liverpool Daily Post, 29/9/11