Theatre review: Reunion at Jermyn Street Theatre

19:19 19 April 2012

Reunion at the Jermyn Street Theatre

Reunion at the Jermyn Street Theatre

Archant

Well-acted assisted suicide drama raises good questions - but gives no new answers

In Reunion, husband and wife team Roberta Taylor and Peter Guinness play a long-married couple who are faced with the crippling dilemma of valuing how much a human life is worth, when lawyer Raymond is diagnosed with the degenerative and incurable motor neurone disease.

The play unfolds over the final 24 hours of his life, as his wife – a committed Catholic - engages in a moral struggle between her faith and her love for her husband.

Faced with the prospect that his current paralysis, incontinence and bitterness is as good as it will get, Raymond, with his coercive lawyer’s rhetoric, convinces Antonia to throw aside her religious misgivings and assist in his suicide.

Written by John Caine and directed by Jermyn Street’s associate director Anthony Biggs, the play never quite succeeds in reaching beyond theory into drama.

Guinness gives a strong performance from the confines of his wheelchair and Taylor also works hard to make the most of what is by definition a rather static setting.

While the play raises many valid questions - the difference between sin and crime; how a daughter copes with her father’s seventh age; is there a correct way to face up to death? - the script has nothing new to offer to this ongoing debate, and the production lacks that visceral bite to really hook its audience.

* Reunion is at the Jermyn Street Theatre in Jermyn Street, SW1, until May 5

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

One male suspect has also died, with Parliament sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers hailed for helping to stop the attacker reaching MPs.

Read more

Lindsay Booth said The Apprentice taught her to put more emphasis on life than business.

Read more

Tina Fey and Jason Bateman star as brother and sister, who return home after the death of their father in This Is Where I Leave You.

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

Top Stories

Quizzes

Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho go head to head (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Football managers are either deified or chastised, depending on results and they are some of the most famous faces in the country.

Read more
London is a scary place

This great city of ours is one of the most haunted places on the planet.

Read more
Roy Keane  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Roy Keane denied the world of more glorious beard action this weekend by shaving his famous chin hair off, however football is still littered with some impressive beards.

Read more