Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons

In any romantic relationship, one finds oneself developing an intimate, coded language of in-jokes and pet names, a dialect that reflects a couple’s time together. But imagine if this abbreviated form of communication became, not a choice, but a necessity. Imagine being limited to speaking no more than 140 words a day.

Lemons is a masterpiece of beautiful simplicity.

Returning to Edinburgh after its successful run at last year’s Fringe, Sam Steiner’s award-winning play is a thought-provoking reflection on the way we communicate. A law is introduced that restricts all individuals to a daily word limit. It follows Oliver and Bernadette as they meet, grow to know each other and, after the law passes, come to terms with a world in which there is no room for repetition, hesitation or deviation in what you say.

Beth Holmes and Euan Kitson are phenomenal as the two characters, breathing life into the relationship with effortless naturalism and touching onstage chemistry. With deft skill they guide the audience from raucous laughter to moments of tear-welling poignancy. An especially memorable scene sees them trying desperately to pack everything they’ve ever wanted to say to each other into the final five minutes before the new law comes into the action, the conversation naturally ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous.

The script is intricately crafted and packed with relatable relationship ticks. Careful and effective choreography, which sees the two actors touch only once in the whole play, heightens our sense of the play’s meticulously structured symmetry, as we move between vignettes of life before and after the passing of the “hush law”. This is further enhanced by the play’s technical simplicity, absent of any changes in lighting or sound effects.

Despite the strong acting and script, the play starts to lag slightly towards the end and, considering how powerful some of the play’s earlier moments are, it is a little disappointing that the ending is not more so. These are small quibbles, however, and does not stop one marvelling at the generally high quality of the production. Lemons is a masterpiece of beautiful simplicity.

Reviews by Iona Gaskell

Pleasance Courtyard

Massive Lazy Girls

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Fabric

★★★★
theSpace @ Jury's Inn

ABCs to LSD

★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Nicole Henriksen is Makin it Rain

★★★★
Sweet Grassmarket

Imaginary Porno Charades

Bedlam Theatre

Goodbear

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Walrus’ award-winning show returns to Edinburgh in Paines Plough’s Roundabout. ‘Let’s just talk until it goes.’ The average person will speak 123,205,750 words in a lifetime. But what if there were a limit? Oliver and Bernadette are about to find out. This two-person show imagines a world where we’re forced to say less. It’s about what we say and how we say it; about the things we can only hear in the silence; about dead cats, activism, eye contact and lemons, lemons, lemons, lemons, lemons. 'About as promising as debuts get.' (Time Out).

Most Popular See More

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Anything Goes

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets