We’re Few And Far Between –White Bear Theatre, London

Reviewer: Issy Flower

Writer: Claudia Vyvyan

Director: Alexzandra Sarmiento

A patient (Georgia Vyvyan) and a therapist (Luke Cinque-White). A white room. An hour of working through just what happened at a party, who it happened to, and why. We’re Few And Far Between poses plenty of questions, and is determined to answer them—sometimes to its cost.

Covering themes of controlling relationships, mental illness, murder, the purpose of storytelling and the role of various systems (care, psychotherapy and so on), We’re Few And Far Between aims to dig deeply into contemporary issues. Instead, it becomes a play of two halves—the patient and therapist dominating the first, and the patient’s relationship with her abuser (also played by Cinque-White) in the second. This leaves the play feeling rather uneven, with the abuse feeling too broadly drawn and a message over-signalled at the end. This is a shame, as the writing is frequently beautiful in individual passages—however the play is too unbalanced to make these truly impactful, as the same scene seems to repeat and repeat without needing to, or suddenly change into something harsh without warning. Themes of writing and storytelling are embedded in the text but don’t excuse this purposeless repetition.

Consistently excellent however are the two performers. Vyvyan and Cinque-White both do much with characters that feel like untethered monologues, making you believe in both the push and pull of the therapist-patient relationship and the abuse within that of the two young lovers. They are playful and have excellent chemistry, doing wonders to hold the audience’s attention across what can be a draining hour, both in terms of the horrors covered and quantity of scenes. Both actors are ones to watch, and the play is worth seeing for them alone.

Structurally flawed, We’re Few And Far Between nevertheless raises important issues about consent, storytelling and manipulative relationships, in a play held together by two strong central performances. If reworked into a script with room to breathe and a less insistent need to answer the questions it poses, the play could achieve its aims. As it is, it is a flawed but fascinating work-in-progress.

Runs until 17 September 2022

The Reviews Hub Score

A play of two halves

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The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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