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Take Two for actors' final Liverpool show; THEATRE Two/Liverpool Actors' Studio.

Byline: LAURA DAVIS

THE script of Jim Cartwright's wellobserved play Two is a gift to any capable actor. Not only does it provide 14 irresistible characters but those performing it each get to play seven of them.

Then there's his skilled turn of phrase, and the way he manages to convey so much of each personality in their fleeting few minutes on stage.

So while Two was a gift to Actors' Studio proteges Emma Lisi and David Moss, it presented a challenge too - one that they mostly managed to overcome.

Set in a Yorkshire pub, Two dips into the lives of the regular drinkers, sharing fragments of their thoughts and emotions when they seem to be at their most vulnerable.

Stringing together the series of monologues and set pieces is the story of the landlord and landlady, whose relationship has been damaged by a shared tragedy that they have spent years trying to suppress.

With just a slight costume change between characters, any shifts in age were up to the actors' mannerisms and the audience's suspension of disbelief.

The cast's performances were more convincing when the parts were closer to their own age, but pulled through okay even when portraying elderly people.

Lisi proved her potential as a strong comedy actress in the role of Maude, the young woman unable to keep her boyfriend in check, and drew out raw emotion as the landlady engulfed by a tide of bitterness.

But she best got to grips with the Other Woman, who is planning to gatecrash her lover's intimate tetea-tete with his wife so he can no longer place them in separate convenient boxes in his head.

Moss demonstrated an impressive range - morphing from an elderly widower into a five-yearold boy via the emotionally exhausted landlord with just a change of body language and accent.

Two was their last show before both young actors leave for drama school. It would be the Liverpool theatre scene's great loss if they were not to return.

TWO is at the Actors' Studio, Seel Street, until August 8, 0151 709 9034.

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Emma Lisi and David Moss in a scene from Jim Cartwright's Two
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 3, 2009
Words:360
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