Review: The Last Five Years

Katie-Birtill.-Photo-Mike-Kwasniak-(2)The Last Five Years is a romantic tale of lovers Catherine Hiatt a struggling actress and Jamie Wellerstein a successful young author. The story both starts and ends at the same point, the start and end of a passionate love affair in a unique style of storytelling.

Cathy’s tale starts with her heart broken at the end of her relationship with Jamie and we follow her story backwards to the beginning of her love affair with him. Whilst Jamie’s story starts when he first meets Cathy and falls in love with her and heads towards the end of the couple’s relationship.

This production is very cleverly put together and coupled with a fantastic musical score with songs that could fit either character at their particular time in the story. The Last Five Years is like watching two productions at the same time with the couple only meeting briefly as their timelines cross.

Katie Birtill is brilliant in the role of Cathy, bringing just the right amount of feeling to the character and making her very believable. We know that her story has a sad ending but discovering why only adds to the atmosphere of this stunning performance.
Chris Cowley’s portrayal of Jamie Wellerstein is perfect, this character is not really liked by the audience and Cowley plays this well. Right from the start you are wondering what Jamie has done to make Cathy so sad, and we soon find out as his story goes from past to present.

The Last Five Years Has just the right amount of humour and angst to make the perfect production. With great casting, a fabulous score and great acting this performance will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions.

A must see The Last Five Years is at The New Wolsey Theatre until Friday 11th March. To book you tickets contact the Box Office on 01473 295900 or visit

Review, Wendy Cook, Ipswich24 Magazine

• Production pictures by Mike Kwasniak