Robert Tanitch reviews 4,000 Days at Park Theatre, London N4
A patient in hospital wakes from a coma to find an older woman and a man of his own age by his bedside. He recognizes the woman but not the man. The woman is his mother. The man says he is his partner
The patient (played by stand-up comedian Alistair McGowan) has no recollection of the last eleven years. His memory has been completely erased. He thinks it is 2005.
With whom will the patient live when he leaves the hospital? Will it be with his sad lover who stopped him painting? Or will it be with his jealous, all bitter and twisted, lonely mother? Or will he start afresh with a completely clean slate?
Peter Quilter’s 4,000 Days is never as interesting as its premise. Nothing dramatic happens. The dialogue plods and the actors plod along with it.
Interestingly, there is a 1937 play by Jean Anouilh, Le Voyager sans baggage, about a soldier returning from World War 1 who has lost his memory, which is really dramatic and it is about to be revived.