Writer: Alan Harris
Director: George Perrin
Reviewer: Emma Boswell
Theatr Clwyd, Paines Plough and Sherman Theatre join forces to bring Alan Harris’ off-beat comedy Love, Lies and Taxidermy to life on stage.
The show tells the tale of the earnest and lovable young Valentine, the well-meaning son of a Polish taxidermist meeting Ashley, the forthright and no-nonsense daughter of Mr Tutti Frutti, a failing ice cream salesman. Valentine and Ashley’s blossoming relationship is set in the Welsh town of Merthyr Tydfil and is far from smooth sailing. Throughout the 75-minute duration of this show, the audience is treated to a hilarious and heart-warming whistle-stop insight into the complex lives of Val and Ash.
The show is performed in the round, in Theatr Clwyd’s intimate Emlyn William’s space, a perfect choice for this production. Right from the start, the audience is invested – with the cast telling them the story directly. Strategically, unoccupied chairs are placed among the audience, allowing the actors to immerse with the crowd and tell the tale. This narrative style lasts for the duration, with the three cast members masterfully jumping between narrator and multiple character roles seamlessly.
Remy Beasley, Richard Corgan and Andy Rush are excellent, without exception. performed with no props or elaborate sets to speak – just three actors and six grey chairs… However, we are transported joyfully through every scene of this story; we can picture the rainy Merthyr backdrop, the artificially-lit aisles of Tesco and the awkward budget hotel room-come-amateur porn studio in great detail. This is all down to the talent and enthusiastic delivery of this small cast, who keep us engaged and keep our imaginations flaring at every moment. Their energy is infectious and all three actors bring their characters to life, making the audience really relate to them and root for them.
A fanatically warm and funny script and spot-on performances. This show really is a must-see.
Runs until 12 November 2016 | Image: Contributed