Seven Year Twitch

Robert Day
Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, Surrey Monday June 10 2013 19:45

It's impossible to ignore the pun in David Lewis' ‘Seven Year Twitch’. Images of Marilyn Monroe and marital strife immediately come to mind. But while nothing in Lewis' new comedy of the sexes gets the pulses racing like the voluptuous movie star, it's very enjoyable none-the-less.

Lewis turns the practice of bird watching, or twitching, into a catalyst to explore intimacy issues. Fran's time in therapy is spent complaining about husband Terry's obsession with birds, a 'hobby' that removes him emotionally from her. Her own therapist, Charlie, is obsessed with his inability to help her, while Terry's unhappy counsellor Megan, finds herself in the arms of Charlie's dissatisfied wife.

Set, for the most part, within a series of therapy sessions Lewis writes perceptively about this confessional relationship. Due to some neat direction, also by Lewis, what could be a static set up becomes a series of elegant duets and quartets. The situation becomes increasingly farcical, as characters paths criss-cross at breakneck speed. But Lewis' insights into counselling means these sitcom characters just about avoid caricature, with the cast delivering strong performances that juggle the comedy and tragedy well.

Still, it's all a bit expected. Some of the scenarios are overly constructed and the ending feels a tad too neat. Lewis's solid comedy keeps his audience happily entertained, but despite the emotive subject matter, we are never really moved.

By Honor Bayes

Venue name: Orange Tree Theatre
Contact:
Address: 1
Clarence Street
Richmond
TW9 2SA
Transport: Rail/Tube: Richmond