The Apple siblings — three sisters and a brother — have appeared in a previous quartet of Nelson’s, sitting round a table in Rhinebeck, New York. This time, clearly, their reunion is a little different. As the actors join the Zoom call one by one, a stellar cast recognisable from Hollywood blockbusters (including Jay O. Sanders in The Day After Tomorrow, and Maryann Plunkett in 2019's Little Women) and stalwarts of off-Broadway theater, for now quarantined in their respective New York homes, I feel a little tense.
If, as Hamlet says, the function of a play ‘is to hold, as ‘twere, the mirror up to nature,’ then I’m not sure I want a mirror right now, but something more like a door. I’d like to be taken out of lockdown and its stream of video calls, not supplanted in someone else’s, where I can’t even talk. However, I’m soon taken in by Apples’ meandering conversation and the easy intimacy between them.