Ross & Rachel at Battersea Arts Centre
The names Ross and Rachel will never go hand in hand without being linked to the iconic Friends series. However, this play leaves a different impression of the famous couple, one that is completely and utterly removed from the happy soulmates we once knew. James Fritz and director Thomas Martin explore Ross and Rachel’s relationship in their mid-forties, as they deal with the problems in their marriage. Ross becomes a scarily possessive, overbearing husband, whilst Rachel becomes unhappy and unsatisfied with life. Molly Vevers plays both of the characters in a sequence of surprising dark turns and with unparalleled passion. The audience are engaged throughout, unable to take their eyes off her. It is stunning and sometimes frightening to watch.
Although it is pretty clear who these characters are, Fritz still manages to make it not too clear: he relies on references and subtle character traits. The simplicity of the staging, while at first confusing, helps viewers focus on the characters’ emotions and connect with them. It’s intimate, as though the audience are invited into this relationship and given all the gory details entailed in it. The use of the overhead lights, and the dozen or so candles surrounding Vevers, gives the performance an added thrill. It’s almost like watching a horror movie, except with added realism.
Ross & Rachel challenges the commonly held idea that everybody belongs to someone, and when they find that someone, they become two halves made whole. The play isn’t just about Ross and Rachel, it confronts the concept of belonging to someone and how dangerous that can be.
Ross and Rachel is on at Battersea Arts Centre from 21st until 25th June 2016, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch the trailer for Ross & Rachel here: