The Same Deep Water as Me at Donmar Warehouse
The first thing that strikes about this production at the Donmar Warehouse is the precision in the construction of the set. Crafted with peculiar attention to the detail, it truly feels like peeping into a real office during the first act and into a court during the second and final round.
The Same Deep Water as Me is a new play by Nick Payne whose story deals with an uncommon, if not unprecedented, subject: compensation culture. Basically it’s about claiming damages after having accidents. Whether portraying the solicitors of an insurance company or desperately penniless people who try to make the best of a situation, the play argues about the legitimacy of such practices, especially when they are not quite honest. What are the consequences of those ever increasing fake crashes? Will the people involved get away with it or will they have to face the downsides of lying? The answers are uncertain.
In spite of some clichés, it all comes down to conscience – if you possess one. If you win, are you necessarily going to be satisfied or will remorse devour you? Will past ghosts visit you and make you wonder if you chose the wrong path, and is it too late to go back? The play investigates these themes mainly light-heartedly, cracking jokes that double the public over with laughter. All the characters have something about them that makes them funny; however the end is bittersweet, with most re-evaluating their lives and decisions in the light of the play’s events, which is presumably the moral of the story.
One thing is for sure: all the actors give staggering performances, aptly balancing wit with serious, dramatic moments. It would be unfair to make special mentions when everyone truly gives their best. The Same Deep Water as Me is excellently directed by John Crowley and brilliantly executed by his cast – reasons enough in themselves to go and see it.
Photos: Johan Persson
The Same Deep Water as Me is on at Donmar Warehouse until 28th September 2013, for further information or to book visit here.