Fringe Theatre

One Day When We Were Young

Assembly George Square

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Marianne Gunn

Four stars

Nick Payne's tale of wartime romance (previously performed by the National Theatre) is the perfect storytelling vehicle for Sam Underwood's Fundamental Theater Project. Underwood, who has found success in American television drama The Following, stars in this two-hander with "real-life" girlfriend Valorie Curry, who is also a series regular on the (recently-cancelled) network show. The performance takes place in The Box, a volcanic little space in which all disbelief will have to be suspended when the two characters speak of the snow falling upon their second encounter. To set the scene: two young people, very much in love, are promising to wait for each other while Leonard goes off to fight in WW2. There are moments of awkwardness and intimacy in equal measure, and finely nuanced interpretations from both actors, while costume changes and musical clues mark the passage of time as the audience realise that fate (and a Japanese PoW camp) has intervened to keep the lovers apart. Their final meeting, although it initially appears over-played, holds the key to now-elderly Violet's reticence and heartbreak. This final twist, and the beautifully-lit "sparkler" scene under the direction of Louisa Proske, makes this gentle yet poignant afternoon drama well worth catching.