Out Of Love by Elinor Cook, Orange Tree Theatre, 27 January 2018

Another day, another excellent preview of a short play at the Orange Tree Theatre.

We saw Black Mountain the previous night – click here or below for that one:

Black Mountain by Brad Birch, Orange Tree Theatre, 26 January 2018

Out Of Love is the same cast, same creatives, but a different play in this rep season.

The acting was once again excellent. The set was the same – no props; just light and soundscape.

Here is a link to the Orange Tree resource for this play.

Janie and I had different views on the relative merits of the two pieces. Janie preferred this one, finding the tender emotional elements of it more gripping than the psychological thriller.

I was a little surprised that Janie warmed so much to this piece – she is usually very resistant to plays that leap backwards and forwards in time, complaining that they mess with her ability to follow the narrative line. She felt that the way the actors deployed their bodies and their voices made it very clear, most of the time, whether they were children, youngsters or adults.

I’m usually fine with temporal gymnastics, but this play had even me a bit confused right at the end, when the two female characters suddenly acquired names we’d never heard before and pregnancies…

…I heard several people wondering about that as we left the theatre…

…but about 15 minutes later, while washing my hands at Don Fernando before dinner, I worked out that the pregnant duo in the final scene must have been the mothers of the two female protagonists just before the main pair were born.

Below I have embedded the trailer:

Here is a link to a term that should pick up all the reviews – at the time of writing just reviews from previous venues as this piece is still in preview at the Orange Tree.

Going by the reviews, Janie is right and I am wrong – Out of Love seems to have gone down better on the whole with the reviewers.


Black Mountain by Brad Birch, Orange Tree Theatre, 26 January 2018

We thought this was a very good play/production indeed.

We have been very pleased with most of our visits to the Orange Tree since the dawn of the Paul Miller era; one of those excellent visits was a couple of years ago to see a Brad Birch play called The Brink – click here or below:

The Brink by Brad Birch, Orange Tree Theatre, 9 April 2016

That experience was good enough to have us looking out for Brad Birch, so we very much wanted to see Black Mountain…

…so much so that we decided to make a rare trip to Richmond on a Friday…

…indeed we shall repeat the visit today (the very next evening) to see Out Of Love; the other play being shown in rep with Black Mountain at the moment…

…we are looking forward to seeing the same cast and production team again, because Black Mountain was that good.

Here is a link to the Orange Tree resource on Black Mountain.

Very suspenseful, it reminded us a lot of The Brink, in that we see the psychological disintegration of one male character and at times cannot tell the extent to which the images and sounds we are hearing are supposed to be genuine or in his head.

But Black Mountain is also about relationships and guilt and whether trust can ever be restored fully after a major breach.

Great trailer – embedded below:

I suspect that the Orange Tree’s success with these modern plays owes a great deal to the spirit of collaboration; in this case with Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd. Long may that spirit continue.

Here is a link to the reviews Black Mountain has had – it seems to have divided the critics with some excellent reviews and some indifferent ones. None of these at the time of writing are from this Orange Tree production (which is still in preview), although I suspect that this piece is already quite well honed over the autumn by this production team.

Janie and I vote it a hit.