The acting was at times extremely sensitive and thought provokingseb constantine

We’ll Meet Again is a new student-written spy thriller by Nathan Miller, tracking Cara Satin, the elusive protagonist, through a series of moments in her life; specifically, the times that her story intersects with that of Max Slater, an engineer for the British government. As he is interviewed about his brief but impactful relationship with her, we are shown Cara’s progression from bolshie ten-year-old Sunday school student, to an almost broken woman at the collapse of her marriage, job, and family. Yet still, she is always drawn back to Max, and appears in his life five times when he least expects it.

Despite some fine acting and a few genuinely emotive moments, We’ll Meet Again falls into the trap of so many student plays in that it doesn't seem truly aware of which genre it aims to evoke. Straddling thriller, action, tragedy and near comic spoof, it was almost impossible for an audience to emotionally connect with characters that appeared so fragmented. With the exception of Max Slater, sensitively played by Charlie Houseago, and his wife (Kate Reid), the cast felt somewhat two-dimensional. Questionable accents and flat one-liners meant some comedic moments fell short, and the pathos of Reid’s moving closing monologue felt disjointed from the fast action of the rest of the play; it well may be that a story has a ‘beginning, middle and an end’, but this play was lacking in cohesion between the three.

That said, the actual scene transitions between the different moments in Cara’s life were smooth, and here the intimate Corpus setting worked well; the use of the same set throughout provided a physical continuation of space that the three Cara’s (Daisy Jones, Megan Lea and Isobel Gooder) moved well around, fleshing out Cara’s personality in the same liminal area, and the use of Dame Vera Lynn’s signature song, We’ll Meet Again alongside muted battle noises was effective and engaging.

Although there were moments when all three Cara’s were on stage – when they seemed to connect with each other and her development was clear – the disjunct between Sunday school Cara and her teenage incarnation in particular was obvious, and one felt as if they were two completely different people. Attempts had clearly been made to link all three girls – the matching movement of touching their faces, their brazen delivery – but ultimately it was the writing rather than the acting that created the awkwardness of character, which was all the more noticeable when paired with Houseago’s believable and touching portrayal of Max’s development.

Farcical moments – such as the bizarre torture scene that was almost a Bond parody, the poorly timed fight sequences, and some unfortunate over-acting – were redeemed by patches of real emotional connection, in particular the adult Cara’s confession to Max of the breakdown of her life. Ultimately, this was a play that lacked a sense of cohesion and played too much to cliché, but showcased acting that was at times extremely sensitive and thought-provoking. With some tweaks to the script and work on the supporting characters, this has the potential to be a very entertaining show indeed.

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