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City Rep’s ‘Heisenberg’ is mature, tender and realistic

From left, Ben Hall and Stacey Logan star in the CityRep production of Simon Stephens' "Heisenberg.' Photo Credit: Bricquet Media.
From left, Ben Hall and Stacey Logan star in the CityRep production of Simon Stephens’ “Heisenberg.’ Photo Credit: Bricquet Media.

Patrick B. McGuigan

Stage veteran Ben Hall is Alex, and Stacey Logan is Georgie in “Heisenberg,” a pre-Valentine’s Day tale of seemingly mismatched London residents who find their way to a  sometimes uncomfortable commitment that evolves into deep attachment.

Simon Stephens’ script was characterized, in one press release, as “sharply original” – and this turns out to be a perfect summary of the skillfully crafted story. The dialogue is often wondrous, literate yet believable (with these two) as everyday conversation.

She is an American living abroad, a school receptionist of some sort, he is a skilled butcher with a shrinking clientele. She is characterized as a “chatterbox” and that is not cruel, but fair. He is reserved and a bit mysterious.

We learn that her son now lives in America, and she yearns to see the young man despite a cruel parting years ago. He is an Irishman long since comfortable with a solitary life, remembering both a beloved older sister lost in childhood and a woman who dropped him without warning in the midst of a courtship he believed would endure.

In a series of encounters, Alex and Georgie draw near to one another, ultimately falling into their own kind of love.

The staging is simple, using two long tables and a pair of chairs the performers move about during blackouts for transitions from scene to scene. These two, under the guidance of skilled director Ruth Charnay, do such a thorough and pristine job with their characters that you believe, depending on the moment, you are listening in as they converse at a London park, in an apartment, before the counter of a butcher shop, or on a river front in New Jersey.

It would have been fun to watch rehearsals for this particular show, as the trio (director, actor and actress) unpacked the layers of meaning in the 90-minute (no intermission) narrative.

This is mature and ultimately tender love story, a nice fit for our confusing times, with its own unique blend of sadness and melancholy, brightened with enough happiness to seem like the story of someone we all know. If wedded bliss is not in the cards for everyone, the narrative presents a promise that love, tender friendship and true commitment is not impossible in the modern age.

“Heisenberg” (a title drawn from a mathematical principle of uncertainty) is a delightful experience in live performance art. The language is often stark, with clusters of f-bombs. This show is for adults.

For ticket information, telephone 405-603-4707 (CityRep) or at the Box Office: 405-848-3761, or purchase tickets online.

Performance times in the downtown Civic Center’s CitySpace Theatre are tonight (Friday, Feb. 9) at 7:30 p.m., Sat. Feb. 10 at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Sun. Feb. 11 at 1:30 p.m.

“Heisenberg” is highly recommended.

Ben Hall and Stacey Logan-CC
From left, Ben Hall and Stacey Logan star in the CityRep production of Simon Stephens’ “Heisenberg.’ Photo Credit: Bricquet Media.


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