This is a complex show, both funny and moving whilst brilliantly quirky, expertly performed by a cast of four.
Set in a suburban backyard where Bob and Jennifer Jones, and their new neighbours, John and Pony Jones, find they have more in common than their identical homes and last name.
The couples find they are drawn to each other and their desperate attempts to connect evolve into a funny, intimate and profound meditation on life.
There is huge warmth and humour in Will Eno’s script.
The curious conversations reveal so much about the difficulties of relationships and whilst we all have the need to connect, for some it is almost in code.
Directed with precision by Simon Evans with an excellent set from Peter McKintosh; Bob (Corey Johnson) and Jennifer (Sharon Small) create a painful yet loving older married couple whose lives are changing.
They fight to cope with the shifting circumstances and find an element of irritation and attraction to new neighbours Pony (Clare Foster) and John (Jack Laskey.)
It is unsurprising that this play has won awards on Broadway. There is something hugely engaging in the sparse but vital exchanges.
The reality of the difficulty of small talk and the short sharp pain when humour is missed feels very familiar.
Whilst there is a feeling of watching time just passing, much is revealed in the silence and star gazing.
Whilst the Ustinov head towards a change in leadership over the coming months, it will without question remain a treasure trove for thought-provoking and challenging theatre.
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Reviewer: Petra Schofield
The Realistic Joneses, by Will Eno and directed by Simon Evans, is showing at the Ustinov Studio in Bath until Saturday 7th March 2020.
For more information and tickets, visit the Theatre Royal website.