As part of Nottingham Playhouses conspiracy season the classic Rubenstein Kiss comes to the stage. From the onset opening the audience are presented with images from the Americana era of the 50s setting in a striking manner. Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and the ilk.
Rubenstein Kiss at its core is a love story, a true story. Latched around this premise is a strong and complex plot expanded by James Philips. The era of the cold war of the East and West, the information war of misdirection and state secrets, what do they know about us, what do we know about them. The Rosenburg case – where a couple were found guilty by the US state of conspiring with the enemy and giving away atomic energy secrets. The stage play adds a twist, in that the playwright has taken this factual event and interwoven a fictional story aka Jack and Rose of the Titanic or Dan Browns Da Vinci code series.
Exceptional performances all round from a great cast including Joe Cohen as Jakob Rubenstein, a warm well spoken taut family man with communist leanings. Esther played by Katherine Manner, with genuine heartfelt companionship in their portrayal as the doomed couple. Paul Cramer of the FBI performed by Cornell S John does a sterling performance with tremendous presence and believable passionate delivery. The interrogation scene between Paul and Jakon is an absolute performance masterclass, riveting with on the edge of your seat intensity. Supporting roles the Girshfields performed by Ellie Burrow and Mark Field. Not to mention the 70s style couple listed as Gillian Saker and Simon Haines. Making for a rounded up ensemble.
Rubenstein Kiss is fantastically delivered for all lovers of spies, love, loyalty and betrayal. With more than hum of present times resonating.
Overall solid 8
Stage Design 7
pro – Consistent and exceptional performances.
Con – a smidgen too long.