‘The Last 5 Years’ is a story about two people in love, but it is so much more than just a love story. As director of the UNSW Musical Theatre Society (MTS) show Kate Cameron explained, “it is a rollercoaster of emotions.” From the moment you enter the room you feel like a part of the show; you go through the highs and lows and relate to the situation perhaps more than you might like.
Upon entering the theatre you are met with a very intimate space. It is dimly lit yet has a warmth to it that hints at romance and excitement. The band tucked away to the side of the stage blends in with their black backdrop, but once they begin to play there is no hiding their presence. They fill the room; creating the illusion you are sitting in a concert hall and take you on a journey of emotions.
Featuring just two characters and told in a non-traditional way, this show is unique. But all of its quirks make it that much more powerful. The show follows Jaime (Jack Dawson) and Cathy (Lily Stokes) who’s relationship is struggling to survive as each person grows and changes over the years, and as they struggle to deal with each others successes and failures. It is the brutal reality of being young and in love that is not always spoken about.
Watching Jack and Lily perform feels like watching more than the depiction of just two characters. The emotional journeys of the Jaime and Cathy, the ups and downs each character encounters transforms them over and over. Jack commands the small space with such ease, making it his own. His charm comes so effortlessly as he appears to glide across the stage. Lily has a sweetness to her that instantly brings a smile to your face, but when you hear her voice you realise she is so much more powerful than she looks.
“I hope the audience allow themselves to feel and don’t try to think too hard. It is a show that can be difficult to follow if you think about it too much, but it all comes together at the end,” said Cameron.
It can be hard to not judge, but if you watch this show (which I suggest you do) relax and trust that these guys know what they’re doing, let them do the work for you.
Written by: Grace Miner