Love, Lies and Taxidermy

Alan Harris

Paines Plough, Sherman Cymru and Theatr Clwyd

Roundabout @ Summerhall

From 05 August 2016 to 28 August 2016

Rating: *****

Review by Philip Fisher

Co-Artistic Director George Perrin and Paines Plough have begun to specialise in their own distinctive brand of romcom in their touring Roundabout. Love, Lies and Taxidermy fits perfectly into that genre.

On the simplest level, it follows the efforts of Andy Rush as Valentine and Remy Beasley’s Ash to hook up in Merthyr Tydfil, a town as depressed as most of its inhabitants.

However, before they can live happily ever after, the 17-year-olds need to fulfil a series of quests worthy of a Greek classical hero.

Inter alia, they must:

  1. Save an ice cream van and its glum owner from bailiffs
  2. Help a glum Pole (played like most of the peripheral characters by Richard Corgan) to save his marriage
  3. Protect the Pole's faithless wife and her new lover form the Pole
  4. Stop a pornographer from corrupting a young girl.

Using wit, speed and countless asides to the audience, Perrin and his cast delight, leaving the average viewer in tears by the end, though whether of laughter, sadness or empathy might vary from person to person.