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

The singer reckons there needs to be some post-Strictly rehab for the contestants.

Read more

Caroline Flack revealed taking part on Strictly Come Dancing has been a worthwhile life experience.

Read more

It seems the whole nation are sat on their sofas crying to Text Santa.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

Top Stories

Quizzes

It's been a crazy year...

2014 is almost over, and we’re looking over the last 12 months of headlines all misty-eyed.

Read more
Rockin' Santa!

If the answer is yes then test your knowledge of Christmas songs with our quiz.

Read more
Can you name this former Tottenham player? Try our quiz and see if you can get 15 out of 15!

This fun new Tottenham quiz will test even the most devoted Spurs fans’ knowledge...

Read more