Ross & Rachel
Put aside thoughts of David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston
This article is from 2015.
James Fritz’s play doesn’t attempt to capture the mindless froth of the on-off twosome from TV sitcom Friends, but instead examines notions of what it is to be a couple, and comes up with disturbing findings. Although Richard Curtis and Notting Hill are referenced, this is not a feelgood play in any way, but more of a blurred snapshot of two people struggling with both separation and togetherness.
Directed by Thomas Martin and delivered with gusto by Molly Vevers, Ross & Rachel asks a lot of the audience; it’s a duologue delivered by one performer, and that means it’s a full-time job working out who is speaking at any given time. That confusion is a deliberate strategy, as the couple struggle to find their identities outside of their relationship. Soon, issues of mortality intervene, with a growing realisation that all couples must be separated at some point; it’s just a question of when and how.
Fritz deserves credit for tackling a difficult subject, and he’s greatly aided by a powerful performance from Vevers. Clad in a white bathrobe, she opens the play by dipping her toe in a pool of water; before long, she’s writhing around and acting out the twists and turns of a turbulent relationship. Alternately shrill and melancholy, it’s a performance to admire rather than to like, and the play’s ambitions sometimes falter amid the hysteria. Ross & Rachel is promising, but some further work on the text is required to provide a clear dissection of the internecine nature of an intense relationship.
Assembly George Square, 623 3030, until 31 Aug (not 17), 12.30pm, £9–£11.