Theatre Review: Love And Other Games

Four fast, modern mini-plays explore dysfunctional 21st Century love.

If you like your theatre fast, modern and funny, then Lisa Fulthorpe’s collection of mini-plays could be just what you’re looking for.

The award-winning playwright, who made her name penning sketches for Channel 4 comedy series Smack The Pony, has a sharp eye for contemporary relationships. In four short plays, she successfully (and comically) captures the dysfunctionality of love in 21st Century Britain.

Scenarios include a pair of university sweethearts who “accidentally” end up living in the same street; a twenty-something whose boyfriend quits his job as a security officer and then demands she give him money for his drugs habit; and a man who has a one night stand with an emotionally unstable Songs Of Praise fanatic.

Fulthorpe’s comedic wit is both sharp and illuminating. Her characters are immediately identifiable and her scenarios feel familiar even if you haven’t experienced them first-hand. Director John Higgins allows the quality of Fulthorpe’s writing to speak for itself by using minimal staging and production.

Four actors share the play’s varied roles. James Sutherland put in a scarily believable performance as Howard, a neurotic house-husband who is convinced his doctor wife is having an affair with her patient. Fiona Boylan meanwhile, showed her most vulnerable side as the rejected Songs Of Praise addict.

The future of fringe theatre looks bright if this production is anything to go by. Catch it again at The Etcetera Theatre in Camden from August 1-4.

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* Showing at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden High Street, NW1, from Monday, August 1 to Thursday, August 4.