Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Tom first asked Grace out when she was fifteen and he a year older. They were sitting on the quay when they had their first kiss. They were very happy together but then she had to go away – something to do with her parents, he was told. So he sat on the quay waiting for her. And one day she came back.
From its dramatic, writhing opening to its quiet, reflective close, Our Share of Tomorrow holds you firmly in its grasp, manipulating your emotions as the story weaves its way through the years since Tom parted with Grace, his first love, and kept an enduring vigil thereafter on the quayside in the hope that she would one day return.
A figure appears on the quayside. She looks to Tom every bit like the Grace he knew some fifteen years before. Tom is confused. He feels he knows her and yet he’s never met her. She’s nervous, edgy, unsure of what to do or say. And who is this older man, John, that’s with her? Older indeed than Tom and certainly a generation apart from this girl who is young enough to be his teenage daughter.
Cleo, the young Irish girl, is on a quest for her father to impart to him the news that her mother, Grace, has died. Alone in the world, she is befriended by John, divorced and with a teenager of his own that he has all but lost touch with. That is the kernel of this simple, exquisitely told tale. But debut author Dan Sherer’s Our Share of Tomorrow runs deeper than that. It’s about a journey, one that we all undertake as we try and establish where we have come from, cope with the personal grief that comes with losing someone that you love dearly, loving someone that cannot love you back, all basic concerns that will resonate within each of us. It’s a play that explores the emotional minutiae of real life in depth, using a spellbinding combination of words, movement and action to convey the life that each of the three characters has led, thereby revealing the multitude of layers beneath the basic story.
As for the actors, Cleo (Tamsin Joanna Kennard) is touchingly vulnerable, her every hesitant word, her every movement exude that uncertainty that oft besets those young, alone and insecure. Tom (Jot Davies) is utterly convincing as the man who would wind the clock back to the day Grace left if it were in his powers to do so. John you first want to hate for his aggression towards both Tom and Cleo but this turns to a grudging respect as he empathises with the emotional agonies they are going through.
Add to this a set that creates a three dimensional image of a quayside in a relatively restricted space, sound effects evocative enough to allow you to smell and sense the proximity of the sea and lighting that takes you from the glare of mid-day to the orange of the setting sun across the bay and you have what amounts to a stunningly professional production. Unmissable in fact. Make it your share of tomorrow.