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Review: At Affinity's End at The Actors' Hub

Review By Sophia Gilet

At Affinity's End is an explosive, energetic, tender and honest look at relationships, that will leave you completely in love with the characters.

A therapist.

A man- Brendan

And a woman- Meaghan

The writing style is Lyrical and gut wrenching in equal turns.

Leading up to opening night The Actors' Hub production company posted that as research the actors were asked to do the arduous task of getting comfy in bed, with a cup of cocoa and the book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”. And they even went as far as to suggest that you do the same.

Indeed, you can see the influence of this book in some of the concepts discussed in the play -when the man goes into the cave to solve his problem, when the woman needs to talk hers through. However this play never pits men and women against each other, rather compares different needs and communication styles.

The moment you get to the venue you are greeted by a grassy set up with bean bags, Fairy lights and tables.

There are activities – in this case wandering therapists giving out advice in the style of Lucy from Peanuts and a station to plan your ideal date. The venue is set up so that you go in ready to play.

At Affinity's End starts as two madly in love people decide to schedule regular therapist visits so that when issues arise, they are prepared.

This script is excellently written with the woman/Meaghan being multi faceted. She is smart, emotional and so very grounded. Perhaps it is no surprise that she is written and directed by a woman. Meaghan is never one dimensional, instead a complex, stunning character that comes to life with Steph Bedford playing her. Brendan is just as complex and played with incredible vulnerability by Adam Leeuwenhart and the Therapist is played with warmth and delicacy by Leroy Lakamu.

The play is remarkably funny as the characters deal with impossible situations the best they know how- lots of laughs all the way through.

At Affinity's End is set in the therapists office with the stage centered around two wing backed chairs, that the characters slouch, perch, slump, and throw themselves in and out of.

On either side are racks of clothes, for costume changes meaning the actors never leave the stage turning the transitions into passages of time and life.

Special mention to the composer Tim Newhouse for creating gentle, subtle music that sweeps you along with the characters.

The story is structured so that each scene is a different “session” with the therapist,

As the story progresses it becomes apparent that while the Therapist is doing everything he can to remain professional and detached he is coming to love this couple through their ups and down and you find yourself coming to love them right along side the Therapist.

One of the main themes of this play was communication- how we don't do it, how we use it and when it is needed. How it impacts relationships, and how one person can say apple and the other can hear banana.

The play made a deep impact, It made me think about how we love, and whether love is supposed to be easy or hard work. It made me question how I communicate with those I love.

If you see this show you are guaranteed to laugh and cry at the characters, to love and hate Brendan and Meaghan - sometime both at the same time, and to leave the theatre heart full.

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All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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