Two's company as play set in a pub opens for business at Abbey Theatre next week

Jill Priest and Mark Dawson star in Two at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

Jill Priest and Mark Dawson star in Two at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

A trip to the theatre or a night down the pub?

You can do both at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans next week when a wonderfully observed character study of the traditional English pub opens.

The Abbey Theatre continues its season on Tuesday, June 1 with Two, the esteemed play from award-winning playwright Jim Cartwright, who wrote The Rise and Fall of Little Voice and Road.

Two, by Jim Cartwright, is set in a pub.

Two, by Jim Cartwright, is set in a pub. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

Set in a pub in the North of England, Two, as its title suggests, is a play for just two actors.

However, Jill Priest and Mark Dawson multi-role play over a dozen characters between them, filling the pub with a lively and entertaining cross-section of society.

There’s Moth, a would-be Casanova, chatting up the audience and displaying his ‘dad-dancing’ moves to the jukebox sounds of recent years.

And Maud who’s still madly in love with him despite everything.

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There’s Mrs Ivers, who rather wishes her husband were somewhat different. And Mr Ivers, who never fails to disappoint!

Jill Priest and Mark Dawson star in Two at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

Jill Priest and Mark Dawson star in Two at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

Along with an old woman, a wife, a widower and a wandering child, these colourful characters share their stories and trade blows as pints are pulled and relationships dissected.

Director Andy Mills says his cast "have had to concentrate on delivering 80 minutes of pacy dialogue whilst using all of their vocal and physical acting skills, minimal props and speedy costume changes to deliver a series of vignettes, which skillfully combine humour with pathos".

He added: "It’s moving, it’s hilarious, but there’s also a poignancy and a mystery to uncover. The ending takes us all by surprise."

Two opens at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans on Tuesday, June 1.

Two opens at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans on Tuesday, June 1. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

This slice-of-life comedy drama, with its eccentric customers and warring landlord and landlady, won the Manchester Evening News Best New Play award in 1989, and has been in production somewhere around the world ever since.

Performances take place on the Abbey Theatre main stage from Tuesday, June 1 to Saturday, June 5 at 8pm.

All performances are also being livestreamed.

To book tickets, go to www.abbeytheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01727 857861. 

Mark Dawson and Jill Priest star in Two at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

Mark Dawson and Jill Priest star in Two at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

Jill Priest stars in Two at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

Jill Priest stars in Two at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

Mark Dawson stars in Two at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

Mark Dawson stars in Two at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre


 

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