When both are in the dotage, Rose dies, leaving William alone with only the ticking clock, a painful absence and a house full of memories to help get him through his own final days. Death, however, is not the end in Theatre Ad Infinitum's wordless meditation on love, loss and lives lived and shared with others. Using masks, choreography and a live accordion score to provide its heartbeat, George Mann's production takes the treasured emotional totems of that life - a tea cup, a letter, a pearl necklace and a summer dress - and transports William to his youth, when every moment of his romance with Rose was a great big adventure.
This is touchingly played by Mann as William alongside fellow performers and devisers, Deborah Pugh, who plays Rose, and Kim Heron who provides the score to a show first seen on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2011, and which now forms part of this year's Luminate festival of creative ageing. The play's focus on memory as a means of survival recalls Samuel Beckett at his most obsessive in the likes of Krapp's Last Tape or Eh Joe, albeit with a more sentimental approach and less ennui.
This lends a warmth to the production, even if some of the love-lorn choreography is a tad repetitive as William leaps into the void once more. As he finally lets go of Rose and steps back into the darkness, the life William has just relived brings him peace at last in this gentlest of meditations on how grieving can be transformed into something magically comforting.