Marmite

Marmite: it’s the breakfast spread that we apparently love or hate, and the word has – in that way the English language often does – subsequently evolved far wider metaphorical implications covering a whole host of things we’re unlikely to sit on the fence about. Which is why, it turns up here as the title of a funny, heartfelt story of love, sex and an ultimately doomed relationship between two young gay men.

A tightly scripted, sharply observed tale playing with ideas of monogamy, trust and loyalty.

Eddie and Dylan first meet in a Wetherspoon’s in Bristol. They’re both on dates with other guys, but the pair end up going back to Eddie’s. This is the hesitant, "Aw, bless!" start of what appears to be a beautiful relationship; even Eddie’s bold-as-brass sister Rosie thinks his new beau is handsome. While she clearly loves her little brother, she ironically puts in motion a set of events that ultimately dooms the couple. After Dylan has moved in, she innocently asks whether or not they plan to be exclusive, and it's all too obvious that Eddie is shocked when Dylan doesn’t immediately say "yes".

Co-writers and co-directors Hallam Breen and Phoebe Simmonds have come up with a tightly scripted, sharply observed tale playing with ideas of monogamy, trust and loyalty in a relationship. Admittedly, their conclusion is pretty obvious - if both partners are not on the same page in terms of how they see their relationship, this could lead to disaster. Not being written in the 1990s, though, we at least avoid either of the gay men dying. Spoilers: there's something approaching a hopeful conclusion, even if it's not the obvious Disney happily ever after.

Of course, a big part of this production’s success is thanks to its cast. Jonas Moore easily embodies Eddie’s awkward anger and frustration. Meanwhile Matt Pettifor absolutely nails Dylan’s hot mixture of doubt and pretty-boy swagger. That said, both simply have to be at the top of their game, otherwise Rosanna Hitchen, as Rosie, would easily walk away with the show under her arm. A bright, bold and lively adventure in modern living.

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

The Lyceum

Cyrano de Bergerac

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Arctic Oil

★★★★
Multiple Venues

Scotties

★★★★
Multiple Venues

Nests

★★★
Dundee Rep Theatre / Macrobert Arts Centre

The Yellow on the Broom

★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square

Tom Neenan: It's Always Infinity

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Dylan and Eddie have just moved in together. It's great. The apartment is great. Everything is great. They're both really happy. Except Dylan isn't. It's all a bit rushed. A bit much. A bit too soon. He's only just left uni for Christ's sake. Between sex parties and roast dinners, Marmite explores the difficulties of gay monogamy with honesty and warmth. Hot off the back of their Fringe 2017 sell-out Ginger Beer, Limerence Productions is back and better than ever. 'An honest, brash, and balls-out comedy experience' (Huffington Post). 'Funny, enthralling, witty and wise' (Scotsman).