Life. One minute it's going fabulously, and the next, without warning, it's falling apart in front of your eyes and you’re both powerless to stop it and oblivious to it until it's too late. That’s the situation in which Drew McKay finds himself in Jackie Kane’s compassionate drama This to This, now playing at the Union Theatre.
Drew (Scott Ainslie) has more blessings than most; a good job and a happy home life. Until, that is, his girlfriend's mother, Peggy (played with a compassionate grace by Rosalie Jorda), is struck with dementia. Unable to fend for herself any more, her daughter Jen (Jackie Kane) dutifully quits her job to look after her. However, the emotional burden this puts on her and her relationship with Drew, and the financial burden of having to live as a single-income family, soon begins to show.
What unfolds is a sad and touching portrayal of one couple's walk down a rocky path to break-up when circumstances get in the way. More than that, Drew and Jen, supported by the sexy Rachel (Melanie Gray), Drew's good friend and boss, Phil Brooks (Simon Anderson), and his wife Nicky (Chandrika Chevli), are an allegory. In This to This they begin as the couple mastering life. But it soon becomes obvious that all the "big" decisions they thought they were making, about life, work, kids, even their own relationship, were being made for them by coincidence, chance, and habit.
This to This will resonate with its audience because of its grounding in everyday life. The characters really bloom as it becomes obvious they all have problems and foibles of their own, each having weaved tangled webs, again more by circumstance than design, over the thirty-something years of their respective lifetimes. And, much like any group of friends, the interaction between them is warm and touching, and generally well played out, if, on occasion, slightly wooden and over-scripted.