This Beautiful Future review – beguiling drama of young war-torn love

아르 자형ita Kalnejais’s 2017 play This Beautiful Future tracks the evolution of two teenagers falling in love. Elodie is French and Otto is German. They meet secretly inside an abandoned room left by a Jewish family towards the end of the second world war. In Chirolles Khalil’s accomplished revival, the pair talk of their hopes for the future – which, for Otto, means a world commanded by the Aryan race. He tells her of the 34 men he’s killed that day; Elodie is blind to the horrors.

He is a gawky soldier, full of fear. She is spirited and playful. There is an awkwardness to their first kiss and silent wine and cheese picnic. Innocence drives their conversation as they childishly pillow fight and tease each other. Played with enchanting charisma by Katie Eldred and Freddie Wise, respectively, Elodie and Otto’s blossoming relationship feels familiar. Despite the backdrop, they could be adolescents on the verge of sexual awakening today.

Niall McKeever’s design, which places a mattress in the centre of a modern-day sound studio, bridges history with the present. The single window is our only access to the outside world; the spiky acoustic foam that decorates the walls marks imminent danger from the other side. An “on air” sign lights up each time we hear two older voices listing ways they’d revise their lives, urging us to listen. We do – as they encourage us to make the most of time.

First performed at the Yard theatre four years ago, this play about a relationship confined within four walls is an appropriate choice for a post-lockdown run. It asks us to believe, 너무, that things will get better.

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