Review: Two Strangers Walk Into A Bar...

Tilda Cobham-Hervey delivers a quiet, radical delight

theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Two Strangers
Photo by Jess Shurte
Published 12 Aug 2023

How interesting do you think you are, on a scale of one to ten? Have you ever had a meaningful encounter with a stranger? In Tilda Cobham-Hervey’s audio adventure, both questions are tested, expanded upon, rendered meaningless within the cosmic expanse. For what are we but walking puddles of water, tiny specks in an infinite universe? It’s foolish to think that someone might come along and change your life, or that anything we do might matter. And yet. 

Each show only has two participants who, ideally, will not know each other. Over the next hour, you’ll take orders from a gentle voice in an earpiece, telling you where to go, when to look up at the clouds overhead, how to contemplate your anxieties from a distance. It’s no small thing to hand over the reins to a disembodied stranger, but the nerves soon melt away; our guide is perfectly pitched, both gentle and sardonic. And eventually, through their simple instruction, the room starts looking different. You feel different. Different enough, maybe, to approach the person sitting at an adjacent table. 

Afterwards, as two former strangers walk out of the bar, the show’s simple message seems to ring true: when we give our time and attention to people and the world around us, good things can happen. That must mean something. Precisely crafted and endlessly inventive, Two Strangers is a quiet, radical delight.