LoveHard: Tales from the Elsewhere

Jacob Lovick and Tyler Harding (Edinburgh Fringe LST Sketch-Off Finalists, 2017) are at it again! Last night at the Fringe Espionage venue this double act – otherwise known as LoveHard – delivered yet another highly entertaining show proving their ability and cementing their reputation as, not only fantastic writers but also, incredibly versatile and compelling actors.

I laughed out loud from beginning to end of this show.

For their Fringe offering this year, LoveHard transport us to Hopeville, an archetypal Mid-western average American town, where nothing ever happens – supposedly. Here, three highschool buddies, (one is actually called Buddy), get sucked up into a science fiction mystery when one picks up an innocuous-looking box of cassette tapes at a yard sale. Strange things and even stranger... events (their joke not mine) have been going on in Hopeville and the contents of these tapes seem to hold the key.

With homage paid and nods made to, amongst others, Back to The Future, Jumanji and, of course, Stranger Things, this show is clearly going to delight the sci-fi and paranormal geeks amongst you, though it will absolutely appeal to wider tastes too. The one thing you can’t be is lazy. If you’re looking for an hour of being spoon-fed humour, this is not the show for you. Like their previous production this year, Murdered by Murder, LoveHard insists on an audience that pays attention. The complexity of Lovick and Harding’s Tales from Elsewhere script (jam-packed with nuanced detail and wit) demands concentration. But if you stay engaged you will be rewarded with a thrilling, fast-paced, high-octane comedy ride. In this production, Harding seems to have the lion’s share of the roles as he energetically and, at times, almost frenetically, morphs and transforms into a myriad of other personas, uttering the team’s trademark “whoosh” as he does so. For me, Kevin, the Mediterranean student, was a particular favourite. But Lovick is by no means less able or talented, his bike-riding mime and FBI caricatures were delivered with a deadpan depiction that was simply brilliant. I loved the epilogue, set in 90s London, too. There are too many high points and characters to mention and, before the show is over, I’m sure I’ve counted a combined total of well over 30 different roles enacted by the two.

Tyler and Harding are a viewing must. They work so well together and part of this duo’s success must also be this clearly comfortable partnership. Each one’s abilities complement and showcase the other's and they clearly love what they do, corpsing and teasing at every opportunity. LoveHard are outrageously talented, ridiculously witty and endlessly entertaining – I laughed out loud from beginning to end of this show. What’s more, Tales from Elsewhere is free, so it’s almost a crime not to catch it. Please, please put it at the very top of your Fringe-viewing list – you won’t be disappointed.

Reviews by Jane Beeston

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The Blurb

1984. Hopeville. Just your average nondescript Midwest American town of white picket fences, backs slapped slightly too hard by dubious farmhands, and where everyone knows everyone's secrets. Population: rapidly dwindling. But when three whippersnappers piece together the truth behind a devastating series of happenings in the town's murks, they are left asking: what is the cause of the disappearances? Why does everyone slap each others' backs quite so hard? And just what is the Elsewhere? Will they find out? Yes. Join the award-winning double act LoveHard all over again. 'Tear-jerkingly funny' ***** (@fringebiscuit). ***** (BroadwayBabycom).