On the shore of the wide world

Sometimes the most simple and ordinary stories can move you in an unexpected and astonishing way. UK playwright Simon Stephens introduces us to the Holmes family in Stockport, near Manchester. Parents Peter Holmes (Huw Higginson), a restorer of old buildings, his wife and childhood sweetheart Alice (Amanda Stephens-Lee) and their two teenage boys Alex (Graeme McRae) and Christopher (Alex Beauman). Life isn’t bad- lots of football, a new feisty girlfriend Sarah (Lily Newbury-Freeman) for Alex, a reasonable amount of work for dad – you can’t complain. But this does not last. Peter’s father Charlie (Paul Bertram) is quietly drinking himself into the grave and tormenting and assaulting his wife Ellen (Kate Fitzpatrick). Then the younger son Christopher dies – hit by a car in a terrible accident that is not the drivers fault. The family struggles to come to terms with this. For the next couple of hours you are right there, listening to the innermost thoughts of the characters in intimate and authentic everyday conversations. An ordinary family hit by a typical tragedy now trying to hold it together but not able to provide each other with the comfort each needs. We watch as Peter turns to his client Susan (Emma Palmer), Alice turns to the driver of the car that hit her son John Robinson (Alistair Wallace) and Alex runs off to London to stay with his friend Paul (Jacob Warner). This play holds your attention from beginning to end even though the story is just an everyday glimpse into a run of the mill family. Beautifully directed by Anthony Skuse, this is yet another cracker of a story from Griffin and what a brilliant start to the 2014 season. Griffin Theatre

When and where: On now till February 1, 7pm evenings. Nimrod Street Kings Cross

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