This cleverly written piece by Sam Steiner may be back for a third year at the Fringe, but Walrus Theatre has still managed to create something fresh in this wonderful, captivating and original play about how and why we use language.
Lemons could not come more highly recommended.
Telling the story of an absurdist but believable future where mankind is limited to 140 words a day, this is a gentle love story featuring short scenes in an unchronological order. Ed Madden’s direction of the transitions between scenes are a good example of how staging shifts in time can be done with subtlety and grace. Beth Holmes and Euan Kitson are elegant and almost balletic, and the idea of speaking into two microphones from opposite sides of the stage to indicate a distance between the couple is inspired.
A two-hander with only the microphones as set, the staging of Lemons is a great example of how the round can be used to great effect. With Holmes and Kitson circling each other constantly as they use their words as games to play with each other, I was reminded of a circus ring. Each character took on the role of lion and tamer in turn, and engaged the audience by using the entire space well. An awkward sex scene is especially nicely handled, with each actor facing away from each other from opposite sides of the circle.
But what makes this show are Holmes and Kitson themselves. The actors clearly know the parts inside out and, with limited opportunities for lengthy dialogue for much of the play, it is their expressive but entirely naturalistic expressions and body language that engage the audience so much. I cared deeply about their characters and at no point did their acting feel overdone or inappropriate to the play. For a joyous, thought-provoking and full hour of clever writing, Lemons could not come more highly recommended.