Two people meet by chance at a country inn, fall in love, and agree to meet there at the same time each year. But there's a problem: both of them are married with children. Um, awkward.
The original production spent four years on Broadway after its 1975 debut, receiving a Tony Award nomination for Best Play and winning a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New American Play. (Ellen Burstyn, who won the Tony Award for Best Actress, starred in the 1978 movie adaptation, which was nominated for four Academy Awards.)
This production stars Paul du Toit (Binnelanders) and Julie Hartley (Lipstick Dipstiek). They have great stage chemistry, especially when you consider that they rehearsed under the direction of Christopher Weare for just under three weeks. "There just wasn't time to mess around," Du Toit said after the show. "If something wasn't working, we'd fix it immediately and then move on."
In addition to the changes in the political, social, and cultural landscape from 1951 to 1975, Bernard Slade's script explores the ups and downs of the couple's relationship together, as well as their lives apart for the rest of the year. During this time, it's fascinating to see how their connection deepens and grows into something quite beautiful, even though they're technically having an affair.
I'm still not sure about the ending, which felt a little abrupt. But, thanks to witty humour balanced against some poignant scenes, Same Time Next Year is one of the best shows I've seen at Kalk Bay Theatre. (My friend concurred.) Don't wait 12 months before you experience it too.
Same Time Next Year is at Cape Town's Kalk Bay Theatre until 22 June. Tickets are available from www.kbt.co.za.