As a setting, Wilton's, dusty, fragile and magnificent in its crumbling grandeur, is simply perfect. It is — it doesn't just become — the Phantom Theatre that they are fighting so hard and hopelessly to protect. Within it, McHale and Morris are two experienced, classy actors, playing two roles that well might tempt senior women of the stage to a bit of murder behind the curtain to obtain.
Beyond the core story, there's a whole other level of politics, of history, here, that they, and the play and the patina of the Wilton bring out. The two women remain, mostly, faithful to the cause, to the Revolution, to the language and institutions of the early 20th-century Marxist revolutionary. Yet capitalism, in all its myriad of seductive, dangerous ways, threatens not just the theatre, but their determined ideological purity.
We know in one way, how it will all turn out - "the menopause is irreversible, just like history," Priscilla proclaims — yet do we? Can hope, and expectation, write another ending? Can you grow young, instead of growing old? Can the Revolution?
The production continues until March 25. Links: The theatre (with online booking); Out of the Box Productions; the BBC on ithe theatre's history.