The Diaries of Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve: it's the oldest Rom-Com of the Christian world. Elton Townend Jones's new adaptation of Mark Twain's short story imagines the first couple in the Garden of Eden as they slowly discover who they are and how their relationship is going to work. Eve (Rebecca Vaughan) spends much of her time inventing new words for the new world and conducting various experiments, whilst Adam (Elton Townend Jones) is content to just sit back and relax.According to the write-up, Adam and Eve's coming together 'will be familiar and funny to anyone who has ever experienced a close relationship.' This, however, will only hold true if your close relationships consist of a woman being obsessed with you and you being pretty annoyed at her until you eat an apple and realise you're horny. The abrupt conversion from uninterested Adam to a final five minutes of complete infatuation and baby-making is unrealistic at best.This feeling of the implausible is increased by a few additional matters. For instance, if this were the first couple in the world, how are they reading this week's Metro? And if they are reading the Metro, then why are they wasting time coming up with all these new words… they're in the paper in front of you.The real disappointment of this play is its reluctance to challenge gender stereotypes as we discovered the dichotomy of the first man and woman. Eve's two main characteristics are her non-stop talking and an obsession with Adam, wanting only to hear his voice and care for him. Contrarily, Adam's main pursuit is to find some peace and quiet away from Eve. It is unclear why it’s necessary for Eve to annoy Adam but in doing so she annoys the audience too.The problem with Eve's incessant jittering, and also a setback with the show as a whole, is the single energy level on which it was broadcast. The tone of the show never changes; Eve unremittingly energetic, jumping around the stage at full blast and her partner the opposite, only ever talking slowly to Eve as if she were an idiot child.Although there was a welcome change of pace in the final scene as Vaughan creates some genuine emotion, shedding a tear as she speaks, the sentiment which brings on this reaction kills it. The revelation that Adam was much stronger than she, and that it would be best that she should die first as she couldn’t live without him, devoted as she was to 'serve', 'work' and 'care' for him (a man who had been pretty rude to her throughout), and that all wives should follow in her footsteps, is filled with such old-fashioned gender pigeonholing that it’s hard to muster any sympathy with the sniffling girl.It would have been nice to see Townend-Jones's adaptation challenging the gender stereotypes of Mark Twain's early twentieth century story, especially in a theatre company that boasts 'radical interpretations of existing texts'. Whilst to some this could be seen as a light tale of 'aren’t men and women hilariously different', to me it is a long and tedious show that shed no new light on anyone's views on the world or relationships.

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The Blurb

Relationships: whose idea was that? The world’s first couple confront their many differences in this witty update of Mark Twain’s affectionate satire. Tempted? Featuring Rebecca Vaughan (I, Elizabeth, Austen’s Women). Director: Guy Masterson (Morecambe).

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