In Michael Puzzo’s two-hander, Lino (Nicholas Hammond) and Mitch (James Sindell), two men of very different personalities, are stranded in a hunting lodge while a storm rages outside. The phone is dead, the car doesn’t work and they can’t even get the weather channel on TV to find out how long this situation is likely to last. Their desperate plight causes friction from the start, with Lino seemingly coping with things better than the coiled spring that is Mitch — his opening tirade against a useless umbrella setting the tone.
However, it soon becomes clear that they are not here by chance and the circumstances that have bought about their meeting are far from circumstantial.
To say any more would give away the basis of the story, but its safe to say both are damaged souls, Mitch in particular struggling with the break-up of a relationship that in turn leads to painful memories of his father.
Puzzo displays a nice ear for dialogue and some deft humorous touches. But while both actors bounce off each other well, there’s little connection with the audience that will elicit any sympathy for these characters, and even with a running time of under an hour I felt we’d spent enough time in their company. The denouement left me with a feeling of “oh well, that’s that” rather than the heart wrenching that the author clearly hoped for.
Reviewed by Tony Peters