Adam & Eve is a new play by Royal Court writer Tim Cook which had a short run recently at the Brockley Jack.
When we first meet Adam (Christopher Adams) and Eve (Jeannie Dickinson), their relationship has broken down. Their story unfolds as we flash back to their first meeting as opposites who attracted, through to becoming an item and then young newlyweds with a baby on the way. As we (think we) know the final dénouement, we are looking for signs of strain within their relationship and we catch a glimpse of this in Adam’s anxiety dreams as they plan a move to the countryside. Then we see Adam at work, an English teacher teaching Jane Eyre to teenagers. It seems obvious how this is going to develop. Nikki (Anuschka Rapp) is the only schoolgirl we meet, a rebellious but attractive young woman who has a strong impact on Adam but it’s cleverly played so we don’t actually see what happens.
Then Adam confesses to Eve that he has been asked by his school to stay at home while they investigate an incident that happened at work. The rest of the play shows the way Eve handles being on the outside of the incident and the assumptions that she makes, but it is really about the assumptions that we are making as an audience. We naturally (and judgementally) make our own minds up about who is guilty but are we right or wrong in what we decide? It is an examination of trust, and the play shows just how fast a relationship can unwind in the absence thereof.
The director Paul McCauley and the three actors do a good job, the latter warming up as they go along after slightly stilted and too-fast delivery at first. I found both Adam and Eve slightly irritating; Adam frustrating as he never seems convinced of his own role in the incident, and Eve took just too long to even ask him what happened. I felt happier when Eve started to take matters into her own hands.
Adam and Eve is an interesting modern play which really grips you for its duration and gets you thinking about the simple but emotive themes of honesty, accusations, truth and trust. I am looking forward to seeing more from this writer Tim Cook and his production company Broken Silence Theatre.
hattydaze rating: ***/*****