Forget the movie, Monkey Poet tells us that Love Hurts, Actually. Money Poet is a Free Fringe regular and a talented and eloquent performer with a strong political approach. By the end of the absurd and exuberant performance of Love Hurts Actually the audience is well aware of Monkey Poet's intentions and the issues he wishes to raise. What makes these issues so poignant is that they have been expertly delivered by a funny, versatile and exhaustingly expressive performer.
Love Hurts Actually is a take on Richard Curtis' 2003 movie Love Actually. Monkey Poet is the sole performer on stage and assumes the roles of Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Martine McCutcheon and other cast members from the original movie. Despite being relaxed and energetic on stage, Monkey Poet is not exactly a talented actor. His background is in stand-up poetry and spoken word and he exaggerates each character for comedic effect and transforms into different roles without subtlety or grace. This does however work in the context of the performance and gets the audience laughing from the get go.
Love Hurts Actually initially feels like Monkey Poet is venting his anger at the absurdity of Richard Curtis' filmmaking. However, as the performance progresses and snappy dialogue spurts out of Monkey Poet's lips, we realise that something else is going on. Monkey Poet has smuggled social commentary into the piece, highlighting the difference between the rich and the poor and presenting the ignorance of the affluent characters within the story. The fact that this has been done without a hint of didacticism makes it seem all the more relevant. Monkey Poet has used comedic theatre to inform and educate and this adds to the overall enjoyment.
The performance ends with Monkey Poet addressing the audience with a serious and personal tone. He underlines the gulf in social class in the UK with facts and figures, showing that he is more than just a comedic performer, but someone who stands up for what he believes in and has a desire to express it to an audience.