Every Seven Years, New Wimbledon Studio, 13 May

The simple premise of Theatre Bench’s Every Seven Years follows a couple Pam (Charlotte Baker) and Ralph (Ben Fensome) from 21 to 84, showing the audience scenes throughout their relationship. It is a well-written, well performed play but there is no conflict, no real conclusion to reward the audience.

The concept is interesting but I feel, if it were to be developed, it could do with a bigger cast. We hear of all these children, random relations and get lost. There’s a scene where Pam is pregnant, Ralph acts like it is their first, a name is mentioned then we later find out that name is their first child. In the play the young characters state that they are physically different because the cells renew every seven years but I didn’t see any renewal within the characters. At one point the character goes back to university but then that drive just disappears and I struggled to believe Pam would forgive Ralph after his indiscretions; she was too scary and formidable in other scenes to tolerate that.

The strength is that Baker and Fensome are believable as a couple and hold the audience’s attention, it isn’t always easy to keep track when a play moves from different decades,  but its running length limit the potential to make this a truly memorable piece.

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