In typical Robert Holman fashion, Jonah and Otto tells the story of two strangers, from different generations, who form an unlikely bond. Each seems to be compensating for a family member they wished to have in their lives.
Old clergyman, Otto and young father, Jonah meet one day on the East Sussex Coast when the younger catches the old man feeling the walls of the coast's public park. Jonah then attempts to steal money from Otto, holding a knife to his neck. The two then spend the day together discussing matter of family, love and lust.
Holman is clearly aware of the basic needs of the human psyche and society's need to pry into the lives of others. Perhaps this is what makes the play so fascinating to watch since the play invites audiences to intrude into the inner most thoughts of these two men.
The relationship between the two is quite ambiguous. Otto appears to be trying to find his faith again by becoming a fatherly figure to Jonah, as if to say if he is capable of finding love then he is worthy of God's love too. Likewise, Jonah finds himself unable to resist opening up to Otto in a way a son might speak to his own father.
Peter Egan, played Otto as a tired and frail old man. Losing hope and with countless regrets, he projects his lost youthful desires onto Jonah.
Alex Waldmann, gave a captivating performance as Jonah. A troubled young man, managing to cross every emotion in the short time span of this play. Around Otto he was angry and childlike but when he was taking care of his six week old daughter, he went under a complete transformation.
Jonah was a very relatable character for the younger generation. In a post university life, he faces the struggles of instability of finding his way in the 'real world'.
Although at times the power battle between the two simply resulted in frustrated cussing, it was incredibly interesting to see how two strangers could find the right words to say to bring the other to confess their deepest, most secret thoughts.
Playing until November 23rd 2014.
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