Relatable romance created on stage

Domino Theatre puts on a heartwarming performance of The Last Romance for audiences of all ages

Gordon Muir and Penny Nash brought incredible sincerity to the love story of Ralph and Carol in Domino Theatre’s production of The Last Romance.
Gordon Muir and Penny Nash brought incredible sincerity to the love story of Ralph and Carol in Domino Theatre’s production of The Last Romance.

Watching the audience can sometimes be just as satisfying as watching the stage.

That’s why Domino Theatre’s production of The Last Romance was a pleasure to watch in more ways than one.

It tells the story of a feisty 80-year-old who finds love again after the death of his wife.

With only four characters in the community theatre production, the actors are all in their 50s or above, but perform with fierce energy equitable to any young counterpart.

The play opens with Ralph Bellini sitting on a bench in a dog park, despite the fact that he doesn’t own a pet.

We learn that this is Ralph’s way of meeting women after his wife had died. He soon finds his mate when Carol comes to the park with her dog. This romance is what the audience seemed to connect with the most.

As one of the few guests in attendance under the age of 40, I noticed most of the elderly theatre-goers relating to Ralph and Carol’s story of finding love at any age.

Whenever the two characters had a tender moment on stage, there was an abundance of couples patting each other’s liver-spotted hands in the audience, as if to reminisce about a moment in their lives similar to the one being acted out.

The audience of grandmothers and grandfathers laughed at the action of the play, but also laughed at me as they saw I was enjoying the humour just as much as they were.

The newfound happiness in the two lead characters’ lives is reflected in the costuming choices.

At the opening of the play the characters wore muted neutral tones of grey and brown, but as the minutes of the play passed, Carol became more confident and her fashion choices changed to donning a bright red gown and jacket.

The brighter colours managed to draw the audience in to the climax of the show and made the lines being delivered feel more alive.

The performances of the two main characters certainly left me with warmth in the corners of my heart.

Gordon Muir brought an earnest sincerity to his role as Ralph, while Penny Nash’s quiet timidness as Carol was definitely reflective of a woman experiencing a second plunge into the unknown depths of love.

Nash mainly does directing work for the production company, so this was a special opportunity for her to shine in the spotlight of the theatre.

Experiencing this show was perfect as I was missing the affection of home after the Christmas holidays — it left me feeling upbeat and giddy hoping that one day I could experience a love as fresh and fulfilling as Ralph and Carol.

I smiled through the whole performance thanks to the adorable characters onstage, and the white-haired friends I made in the audience.

The Last Romance runs until Jan. 26 in the Domino Theatre.

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