Old Fools (Southwark Playhouse)

Posted: March 22, 2018 in Theatre

Writer: Tristan Bernays      Director: Sharon Burrell


“Some day, when I’m awfully low, when the world is cold, I will feel a glow just thinking of you….” Tom and Viv dance to The Way You Look tonight during their tentative courtship and the song recurs during their lifelong relationship, through their ups and downs, parenthood and the parting in mind, if not in body. Writer Tristan Bernays has admitted that this play is filled with the “mythology” of his own family and it feels that way, deeply personal and affectionate.

Running for only an hour, the play, hardly that at all, is a random dip, in jumbled order, into memories, spanning two lifetimes, through until the time when the memories begin to blur and fade. It does not give us a detailed examination of the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease, it merely reflects on what that dreadful disease takes away. Sharon Burrell’s gentle in-the-round production makes the memories sharp; beautifully tender performances by Mark Arends and Frances Grey give them poignancy. An hour spent swimming through the Bernays family heritage is an hour well spent.

Performance date: 20 March 2018

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