24th April 2018
I got to admit I’m not a romantic comedy type of guy, but I thought I’d give this a try anyway. Written by Daniel Jackson back in 2008 and originally set in Glasgow, this play has been adapted across the world and now it was Newcastle’s time. This was a laugh from beginning to end. Highlighting the struggles of what it is to be human and especially how complicated and annoyingly superficial dating can become. There are great one liners right from the off and much to my pleasant and geeky self a few off the hand terminator references.
The stage is sparse, but well put together and the sound minimal, mostly background sounds. Transitions between scenes were seamless and when characters, locations and time periods changed it was always obvious to the audience, thanks a lot to the staging and projectors, which beemed local locations and time periods on the walls.
The play came in three acts, first from Tom’s point of view, second Amy’s point of view and finally a coming together of viewpoints in the finally act. Tom has just moved to start a new job in an office and goes through all the usual annoying pitfalls of working in a new place, the dreaded drinks after work with colleagues you already spend too much time with. The invitations to events so boring you’d literally rather watch paint dry and the awkward small talk you’d rather not get involved in.
Tom is introduced to Amy a work colleague he ends up having drinks with after work and they some how get involved with each other. Technically a three hander, but all the actors play several different parts as the scenes, time periods and locations fluctuate, We see scenes in the form of inner monologues of what the characters really think why they awkwardly interact with each other. The acting is great, one of my favourite lines is “sometimes as a woman if you end up with a man who isn’t a rapist, or a retard then you’ve done quite well”.
Brian Lonsdale plays Tom with a very dry wit and excellent comedic timing, as with all of the actors. Amy is played by Bryony Corrigan who’s sarcastic wit is cutting. Amy McAllister plays Sasha and many other parts such as Tom’s old girlfriends and mates. Her accents and male character portrayals are spot on and she is also very funny. The cast is incredibly versatile and charismatic. The pace is fast moving and has a compelling narrative. The play reveals the fragile and complex nature of love, sex and our need for relationships. Overall one of the best theatre plays I’ve seen in a long while, thoroughly believable and true to life...highly recommended.
Playing at the live theatre until Saturday the 12th May.
Meet the writer talk and Q&A Saturday 21st April after 2pm show
Meet the cast talk and Q&A Thursday 26th April after 7.30pm show
Frank Cromartie Murphy