Review: WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (Stage Adaptation)

Perhaps, in the last two decades, Hollywood has seldom delivered a love story that has been as endearing as, When Harry Met Sally. Nora Ephron’s penned tale that talks about two idiosyncratic characters—Harry Burns and Sally Albright-- finding love in each other, over a period of twelve years and three months, somehow, just cajoles you into believing in that there is somebody out there waiting for you. The script is the hero. The fact, that you have Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal playing the protagonists, only adds up to the convictions of the story. If you are in a dafty romantic mood, watch the DVD. I can assure that you will not be left disappointed!

So what happened when this epic love saga of the screen translated on stage at Cardiff’s New Theatre, last month? In many senses, the biggest challenge here for the adapter of the script (Marcy Kahan), director (Michael Gyngell) and the two leads -Sally (Sarah Jayne Dunn) and Harry (Rupert Hill) was to measure up to the 1989-film.

Voice-overs of several lovers describing how they met, was used to mark the transition of years. However, the make-up of the actors did not suggest a changeover of twelve years, which was slightly odd. Anyway, the sets were minimal; the New York skyscraper background remained consistent. Of the performances, Jayne Dunn and Hill buttered up charming performances. Kosha Engler, as Sally’s best mate Marie, was good too.

Like it or not, the play was a scene-by-scene copy of the movie. Even the utterly hilarious, ‘Sally faking the orgasm’, scene was retained. So were all the puns and the punch lines from the original story. With that regard, the play did not merit any originality. Yet, it succeeded.

Suffice to say, it was suitably casted, aptly adapted and deftly directed. And yes, the play accomplished in leaving me with the same lingering thought that the film did – True love is never left unfinished.

The play is currenly on tour. To find out more... visit:

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