WHAT a play, and what a performance!
David Penrose, directed by Jaspar Utley for Bench Theatre, delves deep into the psyche of 17th century diarist John Aubrey as presented in Patrick Garland’s one-man play.
It contains pathos and bathos, lechery and learning, and Penrose has all the varied virtuosity that mixture demands. Yet he has the ability at all times to ensure it is the character and not the actor we see.
He plays older than his real age with no fuss or flammery, a pair of aged-looking specs lending a slightly manic glint to his eye.
He takes the audience into his confidence as if each of us is an old friend who has just dropped in for a chat.
And he is clever in building us up for a big revelation – and then letting the moment fall funnily flat.
A busy, lovingly furnished set completes the picture.