Review: Out Of Love, Orange Tree Theatre

“I’m the only person whose ever loved you”

Reflecting the impressive balance of their Roundabout season (an ensemble that’s 2/3s female and two out of three playwrights being women as well – see artistic directors, it can be done!), Elinor Cook’s Out Of Love places female friendship at the heart of its storytelling. 30 years of love and loss, dreams and betrayals, wrapped into a fractured narrative which denies nothing of how complex a thing friendship can be. 

Lorna and Grace have been great pals since as long as they can remember. But given the structure of the play, as soon as they’re declaring that they are going to be friends forever and that nothing can tear them apart, we’re 10, 15, 20 years down seeing exactly that. The one steals a creative idea and scores an amazing job, the other steals a boyfriend and ends up with a baby, people die and they’re brought back together but much has changed. Much keeps changing.

James Grieve’s direction has a firm but tender grip that ensures we’re never marooned from one time-jump to the next, and encourages great performances from Sally Messham’s Lorna and Katie Elin-Salt’s Grace. And as Cook explores out how definitively class affects future prospects and talks about sex, or rather the learning about sex, in an impressive and refreshing manner, you’re left in admiration at the honesty on display from both actors and writer.

Running time: 70 minutes (without interval)
Photos: Jonathan Keenan
Booking until 3rd March

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