Review: A Fine Bright Day Today


Settle down for a perfectly pleasant evening as older folk find love second time around.

The pace is gentle, the plot is gentle, the romance is gentle and the humour is gentle. And in case all that gentleness is still too much, director Kevin Shaw has thoughtfully made time for the audience to relax between scenes by dimming the lights as the stage hands tinker – gently of course - with the props.

Not exactly edge of your seat stuff, but this world premiere by Philip Goulding is as agreeable as it is unchallenging.

Margaret (Christine Cox) is scarred and prickly and slightly OCD. Her trawlerman husband died at sea and her grown-up daughter is, at 31, finally leaving the nest. Her awful orange Formica kitchen is a symbol of her resistance to change. Is she too old for love?

Milton (Robin Bowerman) is an American visitor following in the footsteps of a fictitious English painter, Franklin Bowden Broome, with whom he shares an obsession with the sea. He arrives with a rucksack, a sketchpad, his own grief over a drowned son, and a secret.

The pair are thrown together when Margaret's daughter Rebecca (Samantha Power), suggests Milton should lodge with Margaret. They seem to reach, almost instantly, a level of familiarity you might not expect from landlord and tenant. It develops from shared observations on loss and a mutual yearning for companionship.

No boundaries are pushed, no big questions are asked or answered. And yet for all its safeness, it is engaging, with all three characters nicely drawn, nicely acted and very believable.

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