That drama simulated the mind of a man succumbing to dementia by constantly changing the scenery around him and having multiple actors play the same characters in his life, which allowed people in the audience to viscerally share his disorientation. Piecing together the jumbled parts of his memory was an emotionally wrenching experience that deepened my empathy for people with Alzheimer’s.
Zeller and director Jonathan Kent (click here to read an interview with him) clearly intend this meditation on love and loss to be a mind-twister that will make theatergoers feel smart as they sift through and deconstruct clues suggested by Hugh Vanstone’s subtle lighting and Paul Groothuis’ haunting soundscape.
Whether she’s peeling mushrooms or pouring a cup of tea, her Madeleine conveys full knowledge of how flawed her partner of 50 years is and how, despite his failings, her love for him is unshakeable and eternal.
The final moment between these two great actors almost balances out the annoyances of the rest of the play. Almost.