Arts Reviews

“An Endearing Performance That Encapsulated The Exact Feelings Of ‘Young Love’” – Theatre Review: River @ NNT

Sarah Harris

‘River’ by Anya Edwards shares the story of Finn and Minna, a former couple who come together to discuss the demise of their past relationship. Their present conversation is intertwined with memories from the past as the audience gets a glimpse of the rise and fall of young love. Sarah Harris shares her thoughts on the production from the Nottingham New Theatre.

Anyone who’s ever been through a breakup in their teenage years knows that it almost seems as if your whole world is falling apart. In fact, now that I’m in mid-20’s I can finally somewhat understand what older couples mean when they refer to ‘young love.’ That type of love is overwhelming and all-consuming in both the best and worst possible ways. It swallows you whole and takes over your entire life. For Finn and Minna, that sure seemed to be the case.

The play begins with Finn and Minna (played by Jack Titley and Clara Brown) reconnecting two years after their breakup. The intimate conversation takes place in what appears to be a patio in Minna’s Garden, a familiar hanging-spot to the couple. As the pair engage in some awkward small talk, we are taken back to their first date, where it’s clear to see the chemistry between the two. As the sparks fly, we’re taken back to their present conversation which seems to be getting somewhat awkward.

As the play continues, we see flashbacks of monumental moments in the relationship; the moment Finn asks Minna to become his ‘girlfriend’, the first time the couple utters the three-letter word, a dramatic pregnancy scare, and then eventually the defining moments that would go on to cause the inevitable breakup.

when they smiled, we smiled. When they laughed, we laughed. And similarly, when their hearts broke, so did ours

Perhaps I resonated so much with both Titley’s and Brown’s performances because they reminded me of past relationships, but either way both were exceptional in drawing the audience in to the moment. When they smiled, we smiled. When they laughed, we laughed. And similarly, when their hearts broke, so did ours. Clearly, Anya Edwards both wrote and directed an outstanding play that the majority of people in their late teens/early 20’s will be able to relate to.

The play covered some sensitive topics in a realistic yet unique way. In particular it was an interesting glimpse into the impact of depression and anti-depressants on a romantic relationship – a theme that is often either over-dramatized or completely inaccurately portrayed on stage productions. Overall, this was an endearing performance that encapsulated the exact feelings of ‘young love’ perfectly. I’m certain that Anya Edwards is one to watch.

Sarah Harris

Featured image courtesy of The Nottingham New Theatre via Facebook. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article image courtesy of @river_nnt via No changes were made to this image.

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