Hannah Stuart-Leach gets her tissues at the ready for Barney Norris’ latest love story...

While we're here Tobacco Factory

Ever wondered what it would be like to reunite with an old flame? Would there still be a spark? Could what you had ever be rekindled? 

This weekend’s play at Tobacco Factory Theatres explores these difficult questions through the story of former lovers, Eddie and Carol, who meet again “in a town full of memories” in southern England. 

The location itself is central to celebrated playwright and novelist Barney Norris’ vision. In a press release for the production, he explained: “So much of England is made up of towns like Havant, where people get by, and dream of more, and pass their lives in the leap between their realities and their aspirations. We've all felt we live like that at one time or another, I think. You'd never know it if you followed the popular media, but that's what England is, that's who we are, and this play tries to give voice to that experience.”

The performances, directed by Alice Hamilton, are part of a national tour with Up In Arms theatre company, starring Tessa Peake-Jones (who played Raquel in Only Fools and Horses and is currently Mrs Maguire in ITV’s Grantchester) and Andrew French (whose theatre credits feature The Iphigenia Quartet, Gate Theatre and Boi, Boi is Dead, West Yorkshire Playhouse). 

Reviews of the outfits’ previous endeavours, including Visitors and Eventide, suggest audiences are in for something exceptional, and deeply moving. The British Theatre Guide even say Norris is: “fast turning into the quiet voice of Britain”. 

See you there then. I’ll be the one welling up at the back… 
While We’re Here is at Tobacco Factory Theatres on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 June 2017.