‘TUESDAYS with Morrie’ is one of those rare pieces of theatre that engages every fibre of your being and inspires life-changing thoughts. It is a deeply affecting play, beautifully written by one of the protagonists - Mitch Albom, and Jeffrey Hatcher.

This is the story of Mitch’s relationship with his college professor Morrie – aka ‘Coach’. Unusually and refreshingly in a drama, this is a platonic friendship where neither party is seeking anything more than the company of the other. Close friends, whilst Mitch is a student and starting a career as a jazz pianist, Morrie Schwartz is keen that he should keep in touch – making him promise twice. However, the inevitable happens perhaps, and Mitch moves on with his life, forgetting both his student days and his fledgling musical career, as he starts instead to work as a sport journalist.

Years later, a chance occurrence leads to a reunion and there follows weekly meetings between the two old friends, one of them becoming increasingly frail.

During this 90 minute, two-handed piece, played without an interval, the men refresh and develop their relationship, the old professor continuing gently to offer sage advice. Morrie is played by Stephen Brown whose belief in the role is tangible. This is a performance of enormous depth and complexity and played with uncommon sensitivity. From the outset and throughout we see the very soul of this dryly witty Yiddish man and fall in love with his ability to see straight into the heart of his former pupil and to offer the wisdom and guidance that he needs. As the play charts his decline, we watch as Morrie shrinks and ages, withering into his final moments. This is remarkable to witness – Stephen Brown goes from vital and energetic, to a shadow of his former self before our eyes – each movement and vocal nuance acutely observed.

Rob Edwards, as Mitch Albom, simultaneously offers both his public sports jock persona and the more vulnerable inner man, still seeking the guidance he had trusted in his youth. This too is a remarkable performance, wide ranging in tone and colour – from the brash American jet-set man he has become, to a lost soul, looking for meaning to his life.

Quotable lines litter the text, all of them commentate our human existence and make you examine your own relationships, the things which are of greatest value, the very meaning of life. When Albom considers his own marriage, his ‘Coach’ reminds him: ‘There is no point in loving – loving is the point’.

David Kirk’s tender direction has ensured that this production sings with passion and is a play to cherish, with performances that will cling to you as the very best of life lessons. I can’t recommend it highly enough. It runs in The Wildman Theatre until Saturday, May 11.

by Becky Carter