My Romantic History ★★★★½
Newcastle Live Theatre
Until Saturday 12th May 2018
Writer: D. C. Jackson
Director: Max Roberts
Designer: Alison Ashton
Illustrations: Ben Holland
One of the funniest adult comedies that we have seen this year has landed on Newcastle’s quayside. Fast paced, well observed writing and a great cast combine for a great night at the theatre.
Tom (Brian Lonsdale) has started a new job and he is shown the ropes by friendly Sasha (Amy McAllister). Quickly action moves to the end of the first week and Tom is invited to go with his new workmates for a drink after work. He meets up with Amy (Bryony Corrigan) who works on another floor. They hit it off and one thing leads to another – a whirlwind office romance begins.
This show has a nice take on the whole boy meets girl trope. In Act One Tom breaks the fourth wall and describes his thoughts and exclaims at the horror of being sociable at work. It is like the Michael Caine or Jude Law films Alfie only much, much more funny. In Act Two the tables are turned as Sasha gets her turn to reveal what was going on in her mind. The quality of the writing from D C Jackson shines through.
The cast have great comic timing and work well with the audience reaction. Brian Lonsdale and Bryony Corrigan are credible in their portrayal of a fledgling relationship. Amy McAllister fills in with a range of additional characters as the action heads through the dating history of the couple. Live Theatre’s Emeritus Artistic Director Max Roberts keeps the action flowing in a show that runs for 100 minutes, without an interval. The decision to go without an interval keeps up the intensity.
Live Theatre productions have innovative designs and Alison Ashton’s set is no different. Projecting over the top are the pen and ink designs of Ben Holland which illustrate the Newcastle locations that the action is taking place in. We are fans of Ben’s work – indeed we have 4 examples of his work in this room as I type this.
This is an adult comedy. The script uses all of the naughty words. The action includes situations that drunk adults find themselves in. However the audience were laughing throughout the performance. Digging a little deeper, you will feel empathy for the characters. No one comes across as unlikeable and you can identify with the scenario. Workplaces throw random people together that have little else in common. We spend a frightening amount of our lives at work, no wonder some workplace relationships are ignited in this way.
My Relationship History is a tight, well observed comedy. A great evening of theatre.
Review by Stephen Oliver
Writer D.C. Jackson will give a FREE Meet the Writer Talk after the 2pm performance on Saturday 21 March. A Meet the Cast Talk will talk place after the 7.30pm performance on Thursday 26 April. Both talks are free for attenders that evening, and will be made available to listen again on Live Theatre’s website shortly afterwards at www.live.org.uk/talks.
My Romantic History, suitable for ages 16+ and runs at Live Theatre between Thursday 19 April and Saturday 12 May. Tickets cost between £10 and £22 with concessions from £6. Young people aged 25 and under can now claim concession price tickets from £6 at Live Theatre with proof of their date of birth. For more information or to book tickets visit www.live.org.uk or contact Live Theatre’s box office on (0191) 232 1232.