All My Life Long is about Gloria and Padraic, who are friends and decide that they will meet up on the second of March every year. The show then goes from one year to another and traces the lives of the two, their hopes and dreams and failures. Except that it doesn’t quite do that.
If the concept sounds familiar, it is because it is the same as David Nicholl’s One Day, which has also been made into a movie. And the plot points are also curiously similar. One character goes down a wrong path and has misadventures every year whereas the other lives a mundane regular life, seemingly complete. Even though Gloria and Padraic have different partners, they remain close to each other through the advancing years.
Scenes are cut by a repeating dance sequence, which is neither relevant nor good. In some of the scenes, the two are lying down on stage – a bad move in a Fringe venue, since so you can’t really see them at all. There is not much in the way of character progression either; no-one changes, both stay in a sort of monotone despite the fact that years pass. And I don’t know why they think that March 2nd is the first day of Spring?
There are some redeeming features though. Elements of dialogue are well-written, and there is a sense of unpredictability, as you wonder where the relationship between the two will go or if they will ever get together. And Sky Yang, who plays Padraic, portrays the scenes where he is distraught particularly well.
So, while I'd give this particular production a miss, there is potential for the future – and if Sweet Nothings Theatre were to come back with a different show next year, I'd be happy to give that one a go.