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The Theatreguide.London Review

The Two Character Play
Hampstead Theatre   Summer 2021

Amidst the clutter of what looks like a disorganised props room that we are encouraged to believe is a stage with an expectant audience beyond an imagined curtain, Clare ( Kate O’Flynn) and her brother Felice (Zubin Varla) talk about their fears, and anxieties as they try to mount a section of The Two Character Play whose two characters are also called Clare and Felice.

Both are on some kind of drugs. They are disturbed by the loss of parents, by the fear of isolation, social rejection, failure, madness and confinement.

We learn that the rest of the company has abandoned them, leaving a note saying they are insane. Their manager Fox may have run off with what money there is and later in the play Felice says they are locked in the theatre with possibly no way to exit.

As this doom-laden pair teeter towards despair, the ominous presence of a gun that Felice loads with live cartridges suggests an unhappy resolution to their angst, but we should not be surprised that they fail even in this.

Despite the fine acting of Kate O’Flynn and Zubin Varla, along with the atmospherics of traditional sounds to accompany the horror genre such as the off-stage giggles of children, nothing allows us to care what happens to the characters. It is in fact hard to believe they are anything more than the confused unhappy rambling voice of  writer Tennessee Williams. 

Keith McKenna
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Review of The Two Character Play - Hampstead Theatre 2021


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