This play is a reminder that when you love someone – and I mean, really love someone – they steal a piece of your heart, and despite the passing of time, the loving doesn't go away. The piece begins with a silent slow dance between Finn (Samuel Freeman) and Fran (Rosie Bennett), whose relationship is gently blossoming; the action takes place in a series of flashbacks between 1952 and the present day, as we gradually discover what happened to drive the couple apart.
We witness plenty of 'firsts'; their very first meeting, their first date and their first argument, amongst other things. Freeman and Bennett do a good job as the loving couple, and Bennett is particularly watchable as the fiery and unashamed daughter left to look after her aging father.
But sadly, I found the split focus a little clumsy at times, and the storytelling far too laboured. There was just not enough activity for me; the characters were static, and there were many opportunities where I would have welcomed more movement from all of the actors.
There was however a little light relief in the part of Brad (Andrew Jefferson-Tierney), whose portrayal of a cynical and slowly inebriated husband brought a smile to my face. And I smiled too at the nice little twist at the end, which was quite unexpected and very amusing.
After We Danced is a brave attempt at the re-telling of a love story that spans the decades. But I was left wondering if it would really work best as exactly that – a story, told in story form. Regrettably, despite a few fine moments, the narrative has lost some eloquence in its transition to the stage.