BATH VOICE THEATRE REVIEW: irritating rich baby boomers or a universal story of a relationship gone stale – Belinda Lang gets the most out of Griff Rhys Jones and Janie Dee in An Hour and a Half Late

An Hour and a Half Late. Review. Theatre Royal Bath

Set in real time An Hour and a Half Late is 90 minutes of a couple having a go at each other in what is essentially a universal story of a relationship that has almost run its course.

Laura (Janie Dee) is a spoilt bored wealthy middle class house wife who doesn’t want to go to a dinner party with her husband Peter’s business partner and so throws a tantrum about her empty life. The kids have left home, the couple have everything anyone on the point of retirement can want and she is bored and irritated with Peter (Griff Rhys Jones).

 Belinda Lang’s adaption of Gerald Sibleyras’ marital bust up is fast, funny and brilliantly acted although Rhys Jones’ best lines are set up by former dancer Dee. She wants to talk – or rather tell Peter how unsatisfied she is with her empty nest syndrome and directionless life. He on the other hand wants to embrace nearing retirement and the riches it will bring after the sale of his business.

Whether the play will chime with twenty somethings I rather doubt. The duo come across as a couple of wealth baby boomers who have everything and yet seem empty of any soul or interest. That said the cast of two spark off each like a real married couple and make the most of every line in the lavish living room set.

The audience seemed exclusively made up of the same generation (me included) so in some ways the play could be seen as holding a mirror up to all us boomers. Should we laugh or cry at the state of our own lives and how they have panned out like Peter and Laura? Or quietly make our way home in the knowledge that we don’t have to go through the pain of a marital bust up and end up an hour and a half late?

Harry Mottram

The play runs to February 26th, 2022.

Tickets and info at https://www.theatreroyal.org.uk/event/an-hour-and-a-half-late/

The play is on tour until April – see https://www.ents24.com/uk/tour-dates/an-hour-and-a-half-late

Harry Mottram is the news editor of Bath Voice monthly magazine covers news, views, reviews, previews and features as well as what’s on in Bath and events for residents in Bear Flat, Widcombe and Oldfield Park and the wider Bath area. Delivered door to door in south Bath and available in shops and supermarkets. See the Facebook site for details.

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