REVIEW: THE FUTURE Pentameters Theatre Hampstead

PUBLISHED: 11:19 20 July 2007 | UPDATED: 14:35 07 September 2010

Three star rating Suppose there was a drug to halt the ageing process and confer immortality upon those able to afford the daily dose. This is a fascinating concept with many more ramifications than immediately mee

THE FUTURE

Pentameters Theatre

Hampstead

Three star rating

Suppose there was a drug to halt the ageing process and confer immortality upon those able to afford the daily dose. This is a fascinating concept with many more ramifications than immediately meets the eye.

The action consists of four dinner parties with four years in between and takes place in the flat of Isaac and Susan.

Isaac's boyhood friend Rob is a banker with a keen interest in investments - he tells the others of Senexate - a wonder drug that prevents people from getting older.

The subject is discussed at length by the six members of the dinner party and eventually Rob - "Why be a mouse when you can be the cat?" - sells the idea to them.

During the next 12 years, we are shown the results of immortality. Although the young men are old school friends, the three couples couldn't be more different in temperament and each is able to express his or her point of view.

The upwardly mobile Rob (Alexander Fiske Harrison) has a French trophy wife Beatrice - "she shops like a storm trooper" - played by the very elegant Susannah Gschwentner.

Julian is a hairy vegetarian schoolmaster (Simeon Willis) with an environmentally friendly wife Hannah (Eleanor Harley). Isaac (David Sayers), the technician who is obviously the authorial voice, explores religious, social and philosophical issues, while Susan (Clareine Cronin) , who cooks endless inedible dinners, longs to have a family.

There are obvious problems. Life becomes a stagnant pool with no up-and-coming persons able to up and come as long as the older folk are likely to stay in charge forever. As no-one dies, the population explodes and the production of progeny has to be regulated. "At least," says Hannah, "we are taking better care of the environment now we have to live in it forever."

This is an amusing and entertaining first play full of ideas, interestingly designed by Chryssanthy Kofidou, with good direction by Tim Molyneux and excellent portrayals by the company. "There used to be a midlife crisis, now there is no midlife - it is just crisis," says Isaac.

Until July 21.

Aline Waites


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