June 16 - 21
The Oxford Playhouse
as what to expect from a production in which the scenario is based
upon the interaction of just two characters, I was pleasantly surprised
to find that the performance by the lead actors to be thoroughly
engaging. Angela Thorne as Lidya and Tony Britton as Rodion in Aleksei
Arbuzov's Old World quickly warm into the roles, initiating a humorous
repartee and a growing chemistry between them. Thorne in particular
manages to convey a distinct eccentricity as Lidya that gradually
mellows as her relationship with Rodion develops.
Britton who also stars in the play
bond between them initiates with a fiery first encounter when Lidya
arrives at the sanatorium. From this unlikely foundation they build
a rapport that grows into a gentle understanding and love for each
other, but a somewhat reluctance to accept it. Through the use of
witty lines, delivered with perfect comic timing by Britton, Old
World deals with the fear of growing old and being left alone. Both
Lidya and Rodion re-examine the past and their youth, their 'old
world', yet learn to face the new world of old age, and to do so
together. You are never too old to fall in love.
World contains a pleasant balance of amusing pearls of wit: "growing
old is boring, but it is the only way to a long life". This
is tempered with scenes of great poignancy, which I found very moving,
such as the story behind Rodion's wife.
This delightful play is very touching, yet manages to make the audience
chuckle on a regular basis. It certainly lingered in my mind, as
I am sure it will in many others.