Romance, Romance- two words, two acts, two plays, two completely different stories.
Act 1 spins a tale of deceit and love through the letters of the two interested parties, a novel and interesting way of telling the story. Emily Lynne expertly plays the role of the slightly hapless woman taking charge of her love life whilst Lewis Asquith adds the comedy to a largely amusing journey through love with, in particular providing a show stealing performance during ‘A Rustic Country Inn’. The dramatic irony (the audience knowing something the characters do not) in this piece is excellent, allowing the audience to try and second guess the reactions and whilst this may cause the ending of the story to appear inevitable, it’s still enjoyable when it happens.
What would you do if the person you love cheated on you with you? Would you cheat back in revenge? Would you throw them out? Or would you assume that they never would- what are the odds? In contrast to the first act, Act 2 shows a more difficult and emotional side to love. Issues of trust take centre stage as two best friends with their respective husband and wife battle with their emotions- can friendship between a man and a woman ever be platonic? Emily Lynne and Lewis Asquith (Monica and Sam) once again provide excellent performances as the two best friends but we are also introduced to Sinead Wall (Barb) whose portrayal of concern and heartbreak was devastating. Unlike the first act, the ending is anything but inevitable and the audience are on tenterhooks until the very end.
This is only the second performance of Romance, Romance in the UK, since it was written back in 1987. Despite the relatively old age of the show, it still has complete relevance to today’s world (although the parasol has gone out of fashion) and it is this relevance that means the show really gets under your skin and makes you think about your own relationships. It is the contrast of the two stories and how they are told that makes the show unique and ensures it doesn’t just become any other love story from any other show.
The Landor is a relatively small theatre but the staging is excellent, making full use of the space with excellent use of props. The cast do not have microphones, relying on projection which causes some minor issues with some cast members being much louder than others, leading to the loss of harmonies, especially if they are facing away from the audience. However, this didn’t detract from the enjoyment of the show at all.
Overall, Romance Romance provides an entertaining and enjoyable evening, taking the audience through many contrasting moods and emotions, questioning something that forms the basis for many people’s lives – love.
Review by Emily Diver
Theatrica Limited presents Romance, Romance – Book And Lyrics by Barry Harman and Music by Keith Herrmann.
What’s a couple to do when they get restless in love?
Sex, love and money: what happens when you strike the wrong balance between these three? Romance, Romance is a comedic look at the many twists and turns of any romantic relationship.
Through a madcap assortment of characters, a case of mistaken identity in Vienna, an illicit affair in the Hamptons and a number of bloodthirsty insects, this charming 2-part musical explores the secret ingredients of building a relationship that stands the test of time.
Come for the whistle-worthy music. Come for the nostalgic air of star-crossed lovers. If nothing else, make sure you come for the sexual misdemeanour on a would-be romantic carriage ride.
70 Landor Road,
London SW9 9PH
Box Office: 020 7737 7276