One Day When We Were Young
Sentimental generation-spanning romance
This article is from 2015.
Given the apparent preoccupation of the Fringe with performers adapting their lives to the stage – and the proliferation of first-world problems being given detailed attention, Nick Payne's measured and emotional script is a welcome return to old-fashioned storytelling. Splendid performances from Sam Underwood and Valorie Curry lifts the plot from the mundane, and the study of ageing is as potent as the romantic theme.
The two lovers are separated by WWII, and meet only twice again. The first time, the man's bitter disappointment at his beloved's apparent faithlessness pushes them apart, and it is only in the last scene, when he is beginning to experience the onset of dementia, that their love is reconciled.
The restraint and sensitivity of the script avoids melodrama, but since many important events happen between the scenes, this is more of a gentle revelation than a fully engaging production. There is compassion for both man and woman, and a very English sensibility in their conduct, but the passion that guides them is lost in the civilised conversations. A moving script, well played with minimal staging, One Day … is a sentimental journey through difficult times that is a polite rumination rather than overpowering romance.
Assembly George Square, 623 3030, until 31 Aug (not 17, 24), 1.45pm, £10 (£8).