Writer: Alan Harris
Director: George Perrin
Reviewer: Jaclyn Martin
In a town where “all roads lead to Tesco”, it’s inevitable that this is the setting for Valentine and Vicky’s first date and the starting point for this story. A quirky spin on the classic boy-meets-girl tale – boy meets girl and tries to convince her not to film a porno…
This production is the result of a collaboration between 3 producing theatre companies, renowned for exciting work with new writing – Sherman Theatre, Paines Plough and Theatr Clwyd – and a script by Alan Harris who’s previously enjoyed success with his show Cardboard Dad, which premiered at the Sherman.
Love, Lies and Taxidermy first appeared at the Paine’s Plough pop-up roundabout tent, but has moved into the Sherman Theatre studio. It’s retained the original atmosphere, however, with the audience sitting in a circle around an empty central performance space.
Since there’s no props or set, the success of the play hinges on the dynamism of performance and sheer, engaging storytelling. On this, it delivers. The three performers – Remy Beasley, Richard Corgan and Andy Rush – bound in with youthful exuberance and throw themselves immediately into the fast-paced, energetic dialogue. It’s like watching a relay race – one picks up the end of another’s sentence without missing a beat. This results in a rhythm that never pauses for breath, but may leave the audience a bit too breathless – on occasion, the pace is so fast it is difficult to keep up. It also means there is little time for reflection on some of the more insightful moments.
That said, this production doesn’t intend nor pretend to provide a deep, social commentary on the issues upon which it touches. It is more the background reality of the character’s lives. There is a charmingly irreverent humour throughout that ensures the production stays light and comedic.
George Perrin’s direction is entirely in tune with the rhythm of the script. The movement of each performer in the space is like a strategic chess game while retaining fluidity and immediacy. The technical aspects have been created to work so harmoniously with the production, that even though the lighting is dramatic and there is always sound playing, it doesn’t draw attention, it is simply another element of telling the story.
This show will elicit many laughs and an ultimate response of ‘awwww’ in the face of the cutesy ending. With many pop culture references and a rom-com style, this will appeal to young adults and anyone looking for a little levity and light to counteract a world that can sometimes seem quite the opposite.
Runs until 19 November 2016 | Image: Murdo Macleod