Blue Orange Theatre, Sunday 23rd July, 2017
Written and directed by Darren Haywood, this play provides an hour or so of non-stop laughs. Matt (Alex Arksen) and Ellie (Lorren Winwood) address us directly, as though we are relationship counsellors or something. Together they narrate a period during which they tried using role play to spice up their heterosexual lives. They re-enact half a dozen of their scenarios, ranging from waiter and customer in a coffee shop, to nurse and patient, and schoolboy meeting his fantasy: Britney Spears. No matter what Matt and Ellie try, the scenarios always unravel before they come to the crunch: Matt is turned off by French student Ellie’s necklace of onions; a Diet Coke moment almost blinds him when the drink erupts in his eyes… The plot may be little more than a succession of scenes, strung together like a French stereotype’s onions, but this barely matters. The couple learn about each other along the way and give us a good laugh while doing it.
Alex Arksen is an affably blokish Matt, intent on video-gaming rather than investing time in his relationship. Lorren Winwood proves herself to be an extremely funny woman, hurling herself into a variety of rough-hewn characterisations. The pair complement each other perfectly and you can’t help liking them as characters and admiring them as performers. The comic timing is impeccable, the physicality, the reactions – and the dialogue is rich with one-liners and pop culture references.
The writing is sharp and the direction snappy, making for a hilarious contemporary comedy that takes satirical swipes at modern living. Catch it if you can!