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Alone Together at Theatre Royal Windsor

Alone Together is a three-handed play about love – love for children, love for the past, marital love and what bereavement does to love.

Alone Together. Tom Daniels Photography.
Alone Together. Tom Daniels Photography.

It’s also about how two people can stay married and yet grow further and further apart.

Alone Together is also beautifully written: powerful, very funny at times, and heart-warming: the final scene especially is very moving, BUT Simon Williams, the playwright, never over writes: he leaves the actors very much to their own devices to find the depth which is inherent in the piece. Williams himself, in a fascinating programme note, says that he hopes there is “a little bit of Ayckbourn, with pathos, something that everybody recognises…….the benefits of talking to strangers whether on a park bench or online”.

It is a cleverly structured play, making the audience work and getting them to empathise with all three protagonists, yet building the tension so that they are continually surprised at the direction the story takes.

Jonty (Josh Goulding) and Angela (Jenny Seagrove) meet on a park bench where she is having lunch. He is a struggling young writer, and she is an older married woman. Goulding is very natural and believable in role, even more so as the audience gradually learns about him – but I will not spoil the plot as it is NOT what you would expect!

Seagrove is also very successful in juggling her relationships with both Jonty and her husband Colin (Martin Shaw); in fact, it is a continual delight seeing her in a role in which she is able to bring out the different strands of her character. She is very watchable and has that indefinable “charisma” in role which is so rare.

Martin Shaw is infinitely watchable on stage as he always appears to be so relaxed in role – he never “acts”, he just “is”! He is able to pace what the audience needs to know about him so that whereas he appears unapproachable and hard at first, by the end of the play he proves to be anything but! A lovely, warm portrayal.

The cast has been greatly aided by Sean Mathias’ clear, straight-forward direction, never appearing to stamp his personality on the play and allowing the writing to speak for itself, as well as knowing when to emphasise the contrasts between scenes so that the play flows beautifully and those watching are carried along, fully involved.

The striking, modernistic, composite set has been designed by Morgan Large, giving three acting areas on different levels: a park bench, Jonty’s bedsitter and Angela and Colin’s living room. The actors clearly find these spaces easy to use and they are cleverly and subtly lit by Nick Richards, always mindful of the changing moods of the play.

You will have gathered by now that I hugely enjoyed Alone Together! I found it totally involving, and moving – it has everything a well-written, acted and directed play should have: two hours well spent in a theatre: you come out mulling over and discussing what you have seen for several hours afterwards.

It is only running at Windsor until 26th August but is more than well worth the short drive/train journey from London. Do try to see it! Simon Williams and all concerned must be congratulated on a superb new play!


5 Star Rating

Review by John Groves

“The grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break”

Colin (Martin Shaw) and Angela (Jenny Seagrove) are caught in no-man’s land. Silence stretches between them. Jonty (Josh Goulding) is a young novelist searching for a deeper connection, a way to meet the lofty expectations of his demanding editor.

Driven by the loneliness of her dismal marriage, Angela finds comfort in an unexpected meeting, when she encounters Jonty on her usual bench after a weekly art class. Each with their own secrets to protect and pasts to lay to rest, a casual park-bench relationship leads to unintended consequences.

Alone Together
17th August – 26th August 2023

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  • John Groves

    John Groves studied singing with Robert Easton and conducting with Clive Timms. He was lucky enough to act in the British premiere of a Strindberg play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe more years ago than he cares to remember, as well as singing at the Royal Opera House - once! He taught drama and music at several schools, as well as examining the practical aspects of GCSE and A level drama for many years. For twenty five years he has conducted a brass band as well as living on one of the highest points of East Sussex surrounded by woodland, deer, foxes and badgers, with kites and buzzards flying overhead.

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2 thoughts on “Alone Together at Theatre Royal Windsor”

  1. Dr Victor Selwyn

    Excellent storyline spoilt by main actor and actress not projecting their voices although we were sitting in front Royal Circle

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