Expect the unexpected

Life x 3 is being performed at The Spring, Havant by Bench Theatre from July 19-28.
Life x 3 is being performed at The Spring, Havant by Bench Theatre from July 19-28.

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It’s never easy when the unexpected happens. Whether it’s when your car suddenly breaks down, you’ve got a big problem at work or your boss is coming to dinner... and he comes a day early. So aside from panicking, what else can you do?

But that’s exactly what does happen in French writer Yasmina Reza’s Life x 3, as three possible answers are presented in the play.

Being performed by Bench Theatre at The Spring, Havant, the play looks at Henri and Sonia as they are putting their son to bed. An unexpected knock at the door throws them into disarray as Hubert and Ines have arrived for dinner, a day earlier than expected.

Running from July 19-21 and July 24-28 at The Spring, Havant, the play was originally entitled Trois Versions de la Vie and became a hit in London after being translated into English by Christopher Hampton.

Pete Woodward, directing the production, previously appeared in Bench Theatre’s production of another Reza play, Art.

Pete says: ‘The strange thing about it is that it is almost three plays, but with the same set of circumstances and the same people.

‘Some plays look at things from different characters’ points of view but this isn’t like that. It’s as though nothing had happened before or after each scene to colour the scene you are watching.’

He adds: ‘The script is scalpel-sharp and hugely comic although tinged with sadness.’

But the concept of looking at three diffferent angles does give the audience something to think about, especially as they all overlap.

Pete says: ‘I like plays that make you think both while you are watching them and afterwards, and I’m sure audiences will go away with as many opinions as there are people. They’ll go away talking about it.’

The director is looking forward to bringing the comedy to the Bench Theatre stage.

He adds: ‘I like its wit and its lack of sentimentality, and it will be suited to our space where we can bring it close to the audience.’

The Bench production features Jeff Bone as the insecure Henry, and Robin Hall as his less needy wife, Sonia. Mark Wakeman plays Henry’s self-satisfied boss, Hubert, and Megan Green his wife, Ines.

n Tickets cost £6 to £8 from The Spring, Havant on (023) 9247 2700 or go to thespring.co.uk. Two-for-one offer on July 19 and 24.