The Spring Tide

Theatre, Drama
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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Carol Vine’s small and meticulous domestic tragedy about a pair of lesbian lovers comes on very straight. What could have been a heightened drama becomes one of small routines and adult life choices. If families fall apart they do so slowly and under their own momentum, and star-crossed love is sometimes less a thing of supernovas, more those fairy lights you can’t bring yourself to take down.

Lan hasn’t seen Suzy for nine years, turning up on the doorstep of the suburban street where her former lover has made her family home. For context’s sake we are flashbacked: first to school, where freespirited Young Lan would court studious Young Suzy with stories about post-apocalyptic sci-fi worlds; then on to stolen twenty-something nights, spent as lovers on the floors of sea-front buildings.

In the grown-up present, where tense talk in stuffy sitting-rooms sees bourgeois tempers fray, it’s Anita Parry’s Lan who carries the day with her charismatic, low-key butch. And as Suzy’s rude and brooding teenage son, Pierro Niel-Mee chews the scenery with preposterous relish, only to present us a quietly moving rapprochement with his mother's lover.

Director Graham Hubbard could have done more to inject moments of urgency, it’s true, but Vine’s play is revealed as a gently progressive story about a queer love journeying into middle age.

By Daniel B Yates

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