Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Could it be Forever? explores the way in which people grow and change throughout their lives and to what extent their adulthood is effected by their childhood. Although this is a basic and already much-explored premise, Could it be Forever? offers a humorous and insightful addition to the genre.
The play takes place on the night of a school reunion which has been organised by Sean (Mark Carlisle), a fresh divorcee who is suffering depression. Just at the moment when the nerve-racked Sean has managed to convince the first guest Becky (Lucie Fitchett) to move the party elsewhere, all the guests arrive at once and we are launched into the tale of their distant shared history and the subsequent events of their lives. Sean is interviewing David Cassidy for Radio 4 and offers this as his reason for getting the group back together as the girls (and, as it turns out, one of the boys) had an obsession with Cassidy during secondary school. The play alternates between present day and a week in 1973. We witness their star-struck rantings after a Cassidy concert, a first date, a group weed-smoking session and the secret homosexuality of Stephen (Kevin Pallister).
One of the most interesting insights the show has to offer is the alarmingly negative change that can take place in adulthood; far from flourishing and becoming wiser, the adults are agitated, defensive, enclosed and insecure. These scenes of adulthood ring so true that, at first, the awkwardness is almost uncomfortable to watch. The humour in the play is simple and effective; the scene of six stoned teenagers expressing their weed-induced revelations is comical, and a mock-serious dance routine to a Cassidy classic had the whole audience laughing out loud. The performances are very sensitive and subtle in their own way. Victoria Willing gives such a convincing performance as an over-sensitive, hardened and mildly aggressive alcoholic that it takes a while to be able to muster any sympathy for the character who, it emerges, had a neglectful and alcoholic mother. Frances Lima gives an endearing and comic performance as the wannabe holistic, positive energy, ‘I-make-my-own-clothes’ Katherine who, underneath, is still the same insecure pretty blonde she was as a teenager. The only criticisms of the show are the irritating set changes between scenes which could be shorter and slicker, and the cast lacking slightly on energy and occasionally slipping up on lines, diction and general delivery.
This play is simply a very good watch as it offers a universal insight into human growth and change, light-hearted comedy, and a gentle reminder of the tragedy of life; time passes, some things change, some don’t, there are successes and failures, but your life will never be as you imagine it in your youth. It is professional and engaging: a recommended show for almost any one.