All of life on both sides of the bar

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All life is here - on this side of the bar where the drinkers come and go, writes Alison Shelton.

Everyone with a story to tell; sharing their trivia and tribulations, their thoughts and their deeds, the good, the bad and the slightly unhinged.

On the other side of the bar, the landlady and landlord bicker their days away; facing each customer with a friendly smile, turning their anger on each other and both crying on the inside.

‘Two’ is a dark comedy by Jim Cartwright. The piece is set in a pub and follows a variety of different customers as they pass through one evening.

Despite meeting 14 very different people throughout the play, there are only two members of the cast. Both Andrew Rawlinson and Joyce Fraser prove to be brilliant chameleons, with simple props and costume all that’s required for them to move smoothly from persona to persona.

As each character shares their story with the audience, the landlord and landlady’s own story is revealed, gently winding through the others.

This play is, in equal measure, funny, thoughtful, shocking and sad and as a result requires a delicate balance to ensure that the audience is carried forward from one emotion to the next.

Director Janet Spooner has brought this smooth flow to what is a complex piece, and there is some wonderful interaction between the cast and the audience which really brings the play to life.

This is well worth going to see; for the clever transitions, for the great acting and for the build up to the heart-rending end.

l ‘Two’ runs at the Hippodrome until June 23. Doors open at 7pm with the show beginning at 7.30pm. Tickets can be booked online at www.todhip.org or through Todmorden Information Centre either in person or by calling 01706 818181.