Two

Jim Cartwright’s ‘two-handed’ play ‘Two’ presents a microcosm of working-class life in a Northern local in the 80’s; a place of failed aspirations and unfulfilled lives which has since been emulated in many comedies most notably, Early Doors. It’s main characters, the Landlord and Landlady, interlace a variety of characters each affected by another specific character, whether we witness both or not. At extremes with each other; he the hands on money-in-till manager, she the gossipy heart of the bar, their façade ultimately cracks when a young boy in search of his missing dad appears and they are forced to face the loss of their child years before. Along the way to their moving admissions of guilt and loss we witness a variety of stock characters; Fred and Alice, a lumpy loveable couple, acceptant of their lot in life and protective of each other. In contrast Roy, inadequate about his manliness, bullies Leslie into never-win situations. An Old Lady who wonders, after rewarding herself after another day of caring for her invalid husband, when it will all end is juxtaposed with the quiet Old Man who is content that his dead wife’s spirit is with him. We see a failing Romeo (Moth) and how his pathetic attempts with the women backfires leaving his girlfriend (Maude) suddenly holding all the cards, Likewise a Women fed up of being the mistress drunkenly decides to show her hand to her lovers wife whilst an the odd-match up of Mr & Mrs Iger ultimately prove their dependence on each other. All life is present in this pub; it is the heart of communities, it where people celebrate and mourn and throughout this play we are confronted unflinchingly at it’s weaknesses and darkness as well as its heart and many spirits!

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