Actors not shrinking from challenging subject

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Total realism is at the heart of Tom Holloway’s remarkable play, And No More Shall We Part, as it explores the experience of a loving couple as they face end-of-life choices.
– It’s not the kind of play you would see on a lot of theatre bills, it is very
unusual –
Featuring Julie Edwards and Alan Palmer, and directed by Lisa Warrington, this play touches upon the very real reactions and conversations a couple face when end-oflife choices are to be made.
In an aptly timed production, presented by Dean&Ella Productions, the play will be staged from October 28 to November 6, at the Fortune Theatre.
And No More Shall We Part is an uplifting testament to the power of love and the indomitability of the human spirit. Don and Pam (Palmer and Edwards) have lived a long and successful marriage together and are still very much in love. The children have grown up and moved on, but now, suddenly, rather than suffer a prolonged cancerous death, she wants to leave him — or that is how it seems to him. Pam is ill and makes a heartbreaking decision.
And No More Shall We Part
looks at what happens to a relationship when end-of-life choice comes into the room. It is told with the sophisticated rhythm and often awkward and humorous genuine banter that scripts seldom offer, particularly whenaddressing such an emotional and controversial topic.
Actor Julie Edwards told The Star the performers had been working on perfecting their roles for the past year, since being awarded the rights for the play.
‘‘It is very difficult dialogue to learn — colloquial rhythmatic, and unpredictable,’’ she said.
It would be impossible to rehearse the play it in a normal space of rehearsal time.
‘‘You would almost call it verbatim theatre, if you didn’t know different.’’
This Dunedin production is the play’s first performance in New Zealand, and it has been produced only a handful of times since Holloway wrote it in 2011.
‘‘It’s not the kind of play you would see on a lot of theatre bills. It is very unusual,’’ Edwards said.
‘‘It is a wonderful love story — two people who are so much in love, and then the huge challenge of the end-of-life choice enters the room.’’
The play was brilliantly wellcrafted, which was why Edwards felt compelled to tackle it, despite its sometimes difficult subject matter.
‘‘For me, the theatre I want to do, I really want to be around the issues that are important right now.
‘‘And now is the perfect time for this play.’’