If at first … Two people meet in their twenties, forties and sixties in 1968, 1988 and 2008. However, the story does not unfold in chronological order. Instead, the stories from each period are interwoven to point up contrasts and parallels.
The play requires six actors to play the two people at the three different stages of their lives. All six are on stage for the final scene.
Commenting on Michael Johnston’s play, Caroline Staunton, actor and director of SplitMoon Theatre, writes:
“Your play shows considerable skill and ability, the dialogue zips along with ease & the characters have a genuine witty rapport. It is very carefully constructed with some interesting theatrical twists & a lot of attention to detail. You have chosen very interesting and poignant dates – ’68, ’88, & ’08 […] to use as a backdrop. It shows a sharp portrayal of certain lives during these times. Richard & Caroline comes from different social classes, hold opposing political views, they both go on to work in the media & become very successful in their fields, however their personal lives are a mess & incomplete & the sacrifices they have both made are revealed. Richard has a social conscience but is unable to bring anything into effect, Caroline the career woman finds this comes at a cost. They both appear to make misjudgements with their lives & I wonder how far this may be a symptom of the times. They are both very good with words & the sparring Beatrice/Benedict idea comes over very well. […] I believe it could also work very well on TV & radio …”