Modern Love

Written and directed by David J. Collyer
Lion & Unicorn Theatre
(2010)

Publicity photo

'Tonight a dickhead saved my life,' thinks Emily of the battered hero who threw himself on top of her after she leapt of a tube train and trapped her foot between the doors. Dragged along the platform but eventually free they go off for a drink and one thing leads to another.

This is no rose-tinted view of modern love. A newspaper reports a thank-you kiss as budding romance and that helps propels things into an affair. On stage throughout, each of the twenty-something couple gives us their own take on its development, directly to the audience, leading into acting out particular scenes in which they also play all minor characters such as Emily's original boyfriend and the bitch of a journalist who spices up the rescue.

Collyer seems to know what he's writing about and gives his characters a lively way of putting things. When Emily ( Gemma Foden) turns up to have dinner with him in a smart black dress Damien (Mostyn James) finds it 'a strange cocktail of lust and intimidation,' while she feels 'love isn't a battlefield but it is sometimes a board room.' As director he makes his actors move around too much. Stillness would make less frequent movement more effective (and might have kept the actors' faces better lit). He should have more confidence in his writing, but this story, like the romance, isn't really going anywhere. It is a slight piece but it seems true to life and is often touchingly funny. When, after not much more than an hour it came rather abruptly to an end I was disappointed - for I was enjoying it.

Until 26th April 2010

Reviewer: Howard Loxton