Writer: Matthew Capodicasa
Director: Hannah Bradley
Reviewer: Tom Ralphs
A boy meets girl story with a difference, or a problem, depending which was you look at it. The boy, in this case a man named Vincent, has Prosopagnosia, a condition where you can’t remember people’s faces. He meets Adele in a bar when he is playing guitar on an open mic night. It’s the start of a relationship that will be complicated by his condition. That appears to be the main premise of this play if you read the entry in the Fringe programme. If it had stuck to that, it may have been a lot shorter and a lot better than it is.
As it is, in addition to Vincent’s problems, Adele has problems of her own. Her father is living with her following a fall where he hit his head and is suffering from memory problems as a result. Adele has to balance her responsibilities to him with her desire to get more serious with Vincent.
The potential to explore Vincent’s condition, and what that means for anyone in a relationship with someone suffering from it, is lost as Nathaniel, Adele’s father, starts to deteriorate and it becomes clear that the memory loss is a symptom of a far bigger problem. Dad’s with dementia are a common staple of plays at the moment and this play adds nothing that hasn’t been said about it before.
What initially appears to be just an unnecessary storyline gradually comes to swamp it and the more interesting story is submerged so far that it’s hard to find any reason why Vincent has to have his condition other than to make the point that both father and boyfriend have different reasons for not remembering Adele’s face.
What could have been a great two hander and a refreshing take on romcom’s becomes an overly long four cast play that checks in at one hour and forty minutes. Neither storyline really delivers on their potential and it feels as if the writer backed away from making something original and instead threw in several clichés in the process of taking an easier option .
Runs until 18 August 2018 | Image: Arkle Theatre Company