For their debut, Libertine Productions presents Diana Son’s simple yet touching story of friendship, unexpected love and a memorable first kiss, with vitality and fresh, minty breath that leaves you in anticipation for the next tantalising encounter.

Stop Kiss originated off Broadway in 1998 and tells the story of Callie and Sara, whose new friendships evolves into unrequited love and in turn transforms into more than they could handle after a violent attack when they first kiss. The play itself has stood the test the time and engages you from the offset. The story is beautifully simple and breezes along with its delightful and light humour, effectively counteracting the darkness and despair that accompanies the fateful event. The story is not in chronological order and it keeps you gripped and engaged, enthralled by the relationship and lives of these two new and trusting friends. Although not the most dramatic or life changing piece, what gripped me and seemed to be the root of this tale is strength; human strength, to be exact. When thrust into a world of adversity, look how we come to cope and overcome the hurdles that are put in our way, keeping alive the bonds and love that we have for one another, on whatever level.

The production is slick, well designed and of high standard, something to be commended as a debut production. Kudos must indefinitely go to Amy Clarke for her management of such a technical show.

The cast of seven players are strong and well rounded, making the most of the material and direction of Noah James. The two leads, played phenomenally by Olivia Hunter (Callie) and Rae Brogan (Sara), really bring the piece to life; their on stage dynamic and characterisations are sweet perfection and whisk you away into the joys of new friendship and pure New York life. As the story swaps from one point in time to another, both actors are flawless in switching emotions within a hairs breadth and pull you into their adoration, leaving you on the edge of your seat baiting for that first kiss. These ladies are definitely ones to look out for.

For his directorial debut Noah James begins with promise and good stance, but this is where the piece slightly faulted. With its strong story and well written script so much more could have been made of the staging, which felt quiet static at times. That, and some of the comedic moments were fleeting, leaving the actors with barely any time to play with. That said, the production moves along, keeps you gripped and the story is told well, and with such strong and moving subject matter this is no easy feat! Noah’s presentation is enjoyable and there is surely more to come.

Stop Kiss invites you to take a moment of thought about our relationships and the way we deal with the obstacles and items put in front of us. Libertine Productions present a wonderful evening with an insightful production and slick professionalism.

Reviews by Stuart Saint

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Since you’re here…

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The Blurb

After Callie meets Sara, the two unexpectedly fall in love. Their first kiss provokes a violent attack that transforms their lives in a way they could never anticipate.

Libertine Productions was established in 2011 by Carla Kingham and Noah James. We aim to source and produce brand spanking new work of the highest quality for Stage, Screen & Radio, supporting our contributing artists from start to finish and welcoming new faces to our shows!

Stop Kiss by Diana Son is our first major theatrical production. Woefully underperformed in Britain, with only one production on British soil in the past decade, it was clear that this American gem was long overdue an outing when it first landed on our desks 6 months ago.

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