Before Chris’ wife died, after over 30 years of marriage, she made him promise to be himself. Accepting he’s gay is only the beginning. Online dating is a whole new world; can this younger man really be interested in him? And how does he come out to his daughter? Ian Tucker-Bell’s heart-warming play returns to Edinburgh, taking a humorous, honest and tender look at a 60-year-old man coming out and finding love. ‘A moving, exquisite production, telling an important and pertinent story’ (The730Review.co.uk).
This is a very sweet play. I know that sounds condescending or damning it with faint praise but that’s exactly what it is. This is a very human story but a tale well told and one I’m glad I saw. OK, there is nothing challenging, daring or boundary pushing in the dialogue or the staging but it has heart and soul. Sometimes that is enough and Ian Tucker-Bell has pulled it off with From Today Everything Changes.
Too often at the Fringe performance and plays run a full hour but this doesn’t, coming in at fifty lovely minutes. This is a delightfully quick play; it introduces itself, says its piece and doesn’t overstay its welcome but thoughts of it linger afterwards. All three actors are very good in their parts and interact well; the dialogue is natural and the narrative feels like it is Chris recounting his recent history. The play makes good use of small space they have, as well as the simple props, which are moved often and effectively. In all, the whole thing comes together really well; even the song at the end is natural rather than forced or cliched.
Starting a new life is never easy but this shows how Chris goes about it. He faces the drama of online dating for the first time – and all the joys that hold – as well as trying to find a new way to go about things. One that’s his own as he adjust to who he is learning to be, as does his family and friends. By the end he is proud of who he is and happy with life. That seems a good ending to me.