Hollywood Fringe 2019
Moving forward, looking back.
Presented by KADM productions, If We Run is an intense, naturalistic two-hander set in an ocean-side hotel room. Rachel (Katie Oliver) and Brian (Dingani Beza) are ex-lovers, having a last good bye before Rachel commits to a new relationship that promises to deliver the children she now wants. The temporarily reunited couple were seemingly well-matched before this change of mind on Rachel’s part.
Matt Morillo’s tight script is a great showcase for the performers, but also a comment on how love, however strong, now takes second place to personal goals for Generation XY.
There are recriminations and pardons as old wounds are re-opened and examined. They try to rediscover their chemistry, but too much history keeps rearing its ugly head.
The two performers are equally charismatic and likeable, we empathize with each of their viewpoints in turn as their shared ten-year journey undergoes its autopsy. Their relationship now is equal parts love and long-standing resentment, and entirely believable.
Emily Lappi directs unobtrusively, there are no stunning theatrical flashes of brilliance, but excellent performances have been elicited. There is a fair amount of potentially embarrassing intimate physical stuff that is perfectly handled so there were no stifled giggles or fears for the performers.
It’s a fast-moving and satisfying fifty-minute journey through other people’s intensely private personal history.
I’m sure the play will get performed again by actors in their thirties looking for something with depth that they can relate to. The one simple, easily achieved set makes it an ideal fringe offering that requires no compromise or too much suspension of disbelief on the audience’s part.
The preview audience that I was part of were fully engaged, wondering whether the erstwhile lovers had enough residual affection for one of them to back down on their individual life-plans and give it another go.
All-in-all, it’s a very well-executed showcase, for the play and performers, and its pursuit of truth and excellence is refreshingly cinematic in this cheap and cheerful theatrical extravaganza that is the Hollywood Fringe Festival.