Tag Archives: Between You & Me

Between You & Me

19 Aug

Director: Tara Louise Notcutt

Relationships make good entertainment and art because they are a never-ending cause for reflection, disgust, comedy, interest and, of course, drama. Directed by Tara Louise Notcutt, Between You & Me takes the old formula of dissecting a stale relationship and modernises it, at times it seems for the M-TV generation, (well, those members with brains).

Tarn de Villiers and Jaco Notnagel are the couple and the play opens with them across from each other at a massive dining room table. The tension in the air is palpable as Henry (Notnagel) asks, “How was your day?” of a clearly distressed Cara (de Villiers). Literally, I could hear myself swallow. This tension is sustained throughout the play, something which I imagine is not easy to accomplish.

Rather than serving up the entire relationship, Notcutt gives movie montage-like scenes which create a short hand for the couple’s first meeting and other various parts of the relationship, interspersed with the deterioration of their conversation and thus their intimacy. These montages are largely movement pieces set to a range of contemporary alternative songs and this is where the play becomes part MTV. The use of movement between the actors is integral in showing their relationship, but each movement piece (which shows Tarn de Villiers to be a very flexy and talented dancer) was too long, too repetitive (though the repetition was not lost on me) and too much like a music video. The exception to this is the last one, which is perfect in showing the final climax of the couple’s relationship.

The dialogue was one of my favourite parts of the play. There is a tension between De Villier’s English and Notnagel’s Afrikaans, but what they say is down-to-earth and very, very real. Almost too real in fact, as I, scarily, realised I had had many similar conversations before. Part of the reason for this good dialogue is that the script was work shopped by the company, which produced a rounded script with clearly real experience. Jon Keevy provided two monologues for the script and these too have an ear for real conversation.

The set is also interesting and a different experience to watching a play in a traditional theatre. Between You & Me is in a church hall and places the audience in two rows on either side of the dining room table, facing each other. The actors share their attention equally with both side of the audience and the movement pieces were as beautiful no matter which side of the actors I could see. At times I was worried about the dining room table (a lot of action takes place on top of it) but I was assured afterwards of its sturdiness,

All in all, Between You & Me is a play well worth seeing, at only R20 and running at 1 hour, it is a good investment and will definitely provide you with reflection, disgust, comedy, interest and, of course, drama.

Directed by Louise Notcutt, Starring Jaco Notnagel and Tarn de Villiers,Methodist Church Hall, Cnr Milton and Wesley Rd, ObservatoryShowing 17th -21st  August, 8 pm.

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