Writer: Phoebe Eclair-Powell
Reviewer: David Doyle
Songs can define our lives. Key moments are often soundtracked by a song that is forever tinged with the memory of the moment that it played out over. In Epic Love and Pop Songs, those songs soundtrack the relationship between two teenagers, Doll and Ted, as they make their way through life, in this story of troubled teens.
The trope of a pregnant teenager is one that often features in work but one that rarely finds as deft and interesting an expression as in this piece. Doll is pregnant but she won’t tell anyone, not even her mother, who the father is. Flanked by her friend, Ted, she works through the pregnancy and explores how it impacts her and those around her.
There’s some neat writing on display, and writer Phoebe Eclair-Powell manages to capture a genuine heartache in the piece. However, there are structural problems with the show. Chief among these is the characters’ awareness of the audience. At times characters are keenly aware and playing to them, at other times they are seemingly unaware of their presence. This shifting perception marks a problem that disjoints an otherwise fine script. The pop music that scores the piece is a wonderful idea and greater use of it would have made for an even more memorable show.
At the heart of the piece are two wonderful performances. In particular, George Caple’s Ted is a joy. The story is innovative and has some really tender moments but the whole piece never quite comes together, and the ending feels like something of a disappointment. There is, however, much to enjoy here from a writer and cast who show moments of real class.
Runs until 29 August 2016 (not 15) | Image: Mihaela Bodlovic