This blitz through dates, relationships, marriages, kids, divorces and funerals is a joyous and occasionally moving romp. With stellar performances all around and an abundance of laughs, this is an evening well spent.
It’s pleasantly amusing, with the occasional hearty laugh – mainly thanks to the spectacular expressions and physicality of the cast.
The catchy tunes by Jimmy Roberts are complemented by witty (although sometimes unoriginal) lyrics from James Hammerstein as they detail a whole range of awkward, loving, antagonistic and poignant moments from different stages of relationships. It’s pleasantly amusing, with the occasional hearty laugh – mainly thanks to the spectacular expressions and physicality of the cast. With four powerhouse vocals, they all deliver strong comedic performances, with all of them getting the chance to show their vulnerable side, and in all cases are convincingly welling up on stage. For example, the slightly zany Rose Ritz, as played by Sarah Goggin, was brilliantly deranged but also utterly heartbreaking in her frankness. Similarly, Nic Kyle and Chloe Taylor pitched their funeral pick-up perfectly as two elderly people whose loves had already passed away, with a dry and touching humour. On the other end of the scale, there were bombastic performances from Goggin and David Ribi, whose chemistry was electric, whether they were playing nerds on a first date, a shy duo who finally kiss or a married couple who are gagging to have sex again. If I had to quibble about any of the performances, Taylor’s American accent was slightly shaky at times, but otherwise I was thoroughly impressed.
The only thing that grated on me was that the topics and lyrics often resorted to tired clichés and gender stereotypes that are uninspired at best, and aggravating at worst. The ‘Waiting Trio’ song was limp, using age-old complaints about women going shoe-shopping and men spending too much time playing football, whilst the tone was set from the very opening number that it is men who are always desperate and girls who are always setting the rules. When they seemed to try and poke fun at some of these societal ideas, such as that everyone needs to be in a relationship or life has no meaning, it bordered on being dangerously close to the bone – with the character of a mass murderer explaining that he shot people because he was so sick of being single. In the aftermath of the likes of Eliot Roger, it’s apparent that there are some clichés or patterns in society that simply aren’t worth dragging out and reinforcing – this brilliantly acted and brilliantly sung revue would have been simply jaw-dropping had it had some more originality, and not relied on well-trodden material to navigate its way through male/female relationships.