In every person’s life there comes that moment when they finally start the long trek down the road to adulthood. Nobody knows how long that road will be, or even if it has an end but for everyone there is a starting point and for many that point is puberty. I only mention this bit of deep(ish) philosophy because, the road to adulthood forms the central theme to Oliver Retter’s one man show Love and all that Cr@p, currently enjoying a limited run at the Hope theatre.
Oliver’s story starts at the tender of age of thirteen when he makes the discovery that he is not as most other chaps. Despite making every attempt to be interested in the female form, Oliver realises – in spectacular style – that he is gay. Oliver takes the audience on his journey from his initial reaction, through to the paroxysms of discomfort at school – particularly in PE where his view of his classmates changes considerably – and on to his first teenage boyfriend. We follow him as he steels himself to have ‘that’ conversation with his parents and live their reaction in the same way that Oliver does. As Oliver gets older so he goes from dipping a toe into the gay world to totally submerging his entire body. Without giving too much away, Oliver could be considered as not that lucky in love and some of the situations he gets himself into are hilarious to watch but must have been hell to live through at the time.
Love and all that Cr@p is a show whose title is absolutely perfect. It is a wonderful mixture of monologue, poetry, song and dance and is delivered with a skill that you would expect from a much older, more experienced performer. Part of its charm is that Oliver is a really personable chap and within a minute of him bounding on the stage, the audience are not so much on his side as his complete BFF’s. Oliver has a great knack for connecting with his audience. At the production I went to, I was accompanied by a heterosexual friend and afterwards, in the bar he was saying how wonderful the show had been. We did actually talk about the show a lot and although we both loved a particular part of it, we debated it from every angle. Obviously, as I am the reviewer, my thoughts were correct, but irrespective of that it was great to see a show that got us both so engrossed that we argued about it over a drink or two afterwards. Anything that can provoke that kind of reaction has to be considered a great piece of work. One thing we did both definitely agree on, was the number of stars to award the show. In fact, we wished we could have given it more.
The writing for Love and all that Cr@p is spot on. In fact some of it was a little too close to home for comfort – has Oliver secretly found my diary? Although Oliver does not have a great love life, he always comes across as an optimistic kind of a guy. One of those “pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again” types who you want to one day not to be left with “the fuzzy end of the lollipop” and to have the happy ending and go strolling off into the sunset arm in arm with the man of his dreams. Alternatively, you could be like me and have a secret wish that more things will go wrong so that one day soon, I will be able to sit back and enjoy Love and all that Cr@p, and all that Cra@p.
Summing up then, Love and all that Cr@p is a very well written piece that connects instantly with its audience and draws them into the world of this lovely young lad going from boyhood to adulthood in the most wonderfully convoluted and glitter enhanced way possible. Sheer magic.
Review by Terry Eastham
Love And All That Cr@p is a light-hearted ‘coming of age’ story about finding love in our modern day society. Follow a young man as he makes his discovery in awkward, amusing and arousing ways such as discovering your sexuality through porn; the naivety of your ‘first time’, a blind date gone terribly wrong and the all too true horrors of a one night stand as well as other stories and experience a cabaret of song, poetry and hilarity in this embarrassingly true story about love and all its unsaid difficulties.
OCD Theatre (Original, Contemporary, Dynamic) emerged from East 15 Acting School’s Contemporary Theatre course and has continued to produce intriguing new work which were praised for their daring and eye-opening subjects
With special thanks to Adam Weeks and Lottie Finklaire for their dramaturgical support.
Love And All That Cr@p contains strong language and a ridiculous amount of glitter.
love and all that cr@p
written & performed by OLIVER RETTER
10 & 11 July 2016
“And they all lived Happily Ever After”… Bullsh*t!
Over 18s only.