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"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have
lighted fools
The way to dusty death. "
(Macbeth: Act V Scene V)

‘Two' by Jim Cartwright

October 2015

Directed by: Richard Parish
Design by: David Hemsley-Brown
Lighting by: Nigel Greenaway
Sound by: Alex Lyon
Cast: Karen Brooks and David Webb

For a direct link to the GALLERY of PHOTOGRAPHS of this production CLICK - : Two

‘Go to laugh and be moved’ – (City Limits)

Taking place over the course of one evening in a typical Northern pub, Jim Cartwright's 'Two' features fourteen diverse characters played by just two actors. Landlord and Landlady plus various members of the local community, invite us to pull up a stool as they let us into their lives.


TWO by the maverick Northern playwright Jin Cartwright has been translated into several languages. In English it remains a melancholic piece as it takes a bite-size look at narrow and unfulfilled lives.
The overall effect could be a tad voyeuristic because we peek at disappointment and failed aspiration but this does not occur under Richard Parish’s direction.
He offers sustained respect for the characters that happen into Cartwright’s setting of a Bolton Public House.
Two actors (Karen Brooks and David Webb) play fourteen roles in consecutive scenes which are linked by ‘the landlord and landlady’ – a device that offers continuity – and the chance of learning more about them as they snipe at each other behind the bar while offering a hollow bonhomie to the customers.
The landlord leaves to change a cask – cue the entrance of ‘Old Man’, ‘Roy’ or ‘Fred’. The landlady leaves to collect glasses – cue the entrance of ‘Old Lady’, ‘Alice’ or ‘Lesley’.
Each character had a distinct story to share, accent and walk but inevitably some seemed to me more successful than others. One scene remained with me for hours: a young couple out for an evening; she compliant and he domineering.
Webb approached this with a fixed stare of restrained malevolence while Brooks, crushed and debilitated, avoided his eye contact.
Her fear in the intimacy of the Mill Studio Theatre was palpable and spread into a stunned audience. It was heartbreakingly sad.
Other characters were in turn buoyant, introverted, reflective or happy-go-lucky.
That the landlord and landlady partly discover a way to resolve their differences brought a provocative evening to a close.
There was one curtain bow from the cast but an audience hat offered loud applause for several minutes. Not a fun evening but a satisfying one.


We thoroughly enjoyed the performance last night – so many different characters for two people to play

Many congratulations – it was a wonderful performance and a tour-de-force by the two actors

Absolutely LOVED the play!

Thought when it opened that I would miss seeing no props but then realizing they would be impossible and seeing how BRILLIANTLY the actors mimed them, I actually forgot that there were none

I loved every episode and wanted to applaud after each one

Very, very impressive and entertaining

A magnificent first night performance

Had us all in stitches - wish I was coming again!

Thought both actors were outstanding

All characters were totally believable

David Webb was so menacing as the abusive husband - it made me feel really uncomfortable

Another great show - thank you

Brilliant show. Thanks to all of the Lighted Fools

What a way to spend a Saturday evening - two amazing actors, line perfect

Karen Brooks gave the best female performance I have seen in a very long time - we so enjoyed watching her

Wonderful direction - sound effects on the dot - all in all, a wonderful way to spend an evening

Very well done all round

Absolutely brilliant! We believed in every character and found the denouement really quite moving

Thank you very much for another great evening's entertainment - a veritable tour de force

The actors were excellent as was the direction

The various characters came across perfectly - we thought the scene with the battered wife was particularly well done

Thank you and your team once again - we have already got the next dates in our diaries!

Another tremendous production

Two actors who were great; imaginative, versatile, gifted and who kept us absobed and entertained throughout

The characters were so diverse - moving, amusing and sinister

Loved the set and no props - it worked so well

I don't think I shall ever eat crisps again without thinking of Karen Brooks’ performance and Tom Jones will forever now make me laugh!!!

I liked the subtle set, the use of space, the pace and above all the interaction between the two

We so enjoyed this evening - thank you Lighted Fools yet again

Can't wait for your next production!!!

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