Review: The Same Deep Water As Me, by Nick Payne, at the Donmar Warehouse

Nigel Lindsay, Daniel Mays and Monica Dolan in The Same Deep Water As Me. Photo Johan Persson

Nigel Lindsay, Daniel Mays and Monica Dolan in The Same Deep Water As Me. Photo Johan Persson

Nick Payne’s Constellations was one of last year’s theatrical highlights: elegant and simple, it took life’s small gestures and launched them into space. It transferred from the 80 seater Royal Court Upstairs to the West End and was nominated for an Olivier award. As his new play starts performances, does he feel the pressure of repeating the success of Constellations?

On the evidence of The Same Deep Water As Me, directed by John Crowley at the Donmar Warehouse, Nick Payne doesn’t seem under pressure at all. On the face of it, it’s a simple story with a simple structure unfolding over several years: its milieu is a solicitor’s firm specialising in personal injury claims. It’s not the kind of profession to brag about and the two solicitors working on the firm bear (and occasionally justify) its unsavoury reputation with a mixture of self delusion and decency.

As with Constellations, dialogue and relationships are impeccable.  Continue reading