The Last 5 years – 16 September 2006

From Anniversary concerts, 2500 seat theatres to the final intimacy of the Menier Chocolate Factory and an audience of 150 watching a show with a cast of 2.

The Last 5 years is a simple show in that it is the story of two people and how they meet, fall in love, marry and fall out of love over 5 years. The difference is that the man (Jamie) tells the story forwards and the woman (Cathy) tells it backwards.

It is very cleverly staged as the story switches from one to the other. Each appears in situation being relayed by the other and the only time they are truly in the same state is at their wedding.

The show starts with a distraught Cathy on the bed with the letter and wedding ring form Jamie. It ends as the younger Cathy waits excitedly to meet Jamie whilst Jamie 5 years on places the letter and ring on the table and as the lights fade they focus on to the chair before fading to black. The stage is near enough bare with just a bed, a screen come across cover parts of the stage and a small revolve turns around bringing chairs and tables on. Simple effects such as Cathy sitting at a table with copies of Jamie’s book as behind a gauze you see him speaking at a launch are matched as later on we are the audience at the book launch and we see Cathy behind the screen sitting at the desk

Lara Pulver and Damian Humbley were both excellent, capturing the emotions of the journey of this relationship perfectly. Switching from their own happy scene to a very emotional one and vice versa. They both bring a genuine and realness to their characters. Both were extremely watchable and brought out all sides to their characters but as a couple also made the relationship journey truly believable

Musically it has a score which is extremely accessible and can easily be heard and understood within and out of context of the show.

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