ROSS & RACHEL | Edinburgh, Assembly Box

The beauty of the concept behind James Fritz’s new play is the character development that has already begun before the audience take their seats.

The spectacular thing is what Molly Vevers then does on stage. Dressed in a white robe — bare-foot, coffee mug in hand — she is the conduit for both characters’ voices, flitting effortlessly between familiarity, over-familiarity, jealousy, anger and helplessness.

Where the characters in Friends were sugar-coated and bouncy, this imagined future presents the drifting of an evidently breakable, mortal couple. Vevers performance establishes and develops these characters with tenderness and quite dazzling control. There is equal subtlety in the production and sensual staging: a shallow water pool, reflecting the gentle flames of tea lights on its perimeter and dimming fairy lights above.

An exceptional combination of writing, directing and acting talent, and one that deserves further plaudits to add to those it has already achieved. Brittle and beautiful: a highlight of new writing on show this year.

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