Two is a delightful play written by Jim Cartwright, author of Road, Bed, and Rise and Fall of Little Voice. The play is written to be performed by two actors, as it consists of only monologues and dualogues.
It was first performed at the Bolton Octagon on 23 August 1989, with Sue Johnston and John McArdle playing all the roles.
The play is set in a pub and focuses on the patrons of the pub.The set consists of a bar, and tables and chairs, but all glasses, pumps, till, optics etc., being mimed, as are all the other people in the pub.
The piece deals with the diverse forms of love, as it explores illicit, interdependant, flawed, successful, and crumbling relationships. All characters are archetypes to show how basic relationships are.
Landlord and Landlady
The 'landlord and Landlady' hold the piece together as we discover the crumbling relationship between them after the death of their son.
'Old Woman' is a monologue which is how the old woman is trapped in the relationship with her dependant husband. It creates the theme of duty to your love one - "till death us do part".
Moth and Maudie
'Moth and Maudie' is about about commitment because Moth has a roving eye. Not that anyone will have him apart from Maudie but a wandering eye none the less. He is scared to commit to her, and only does when she actually makes him at the end of the dualogue.
'Old Man' is a monologue about someone who has lost their wife. It begs the rhetorical question "Does a part of us die when our partner does?" The love that he has lives on through memories. A successful, eternal love.
Mr and Mrs Iger
'Mr and Mrs Iger' is about an unbalanced relationship. Mrs Iger is an overbearing wife who talks of how she loves big men but in actuality her husband is a weedy little man that she likes to tend to and fuss over. It is flawed love.
Lesley and Roy
'Lesley and Roy' is a crumbling form of love as Roy is a wife beater. The only reason that Lesley stays with Roy is because she is scared of him.
Fred and Alice
'Fred and Alice' are social outcasts that have been thrown together by society. They are trully in love and have uncompremising love. The have cultivated their own alienation.
'Woman' is 'the other woman'. She is having an affair and has come to the pub to give her man an ultimatum. Illicit love or 'forbidden love'.
'Boy' is used as the spark of the revelation as to why the Landlord and Landlady's relationship is so bad. It is used for demonstrations of maternal and paternal love.
Due to all the characters being archetypes the audience find it easy to relate to the piece. We all know someone like at least one of the characters. It also makes the audience think "what form of relationship is the one that I have got?" It is a suprisingly incisive commentary on life. Something to make you think.