Home » London Theatre Reviews » Love in the Time of Corona – Golden Age Theatre Company | Review

Love in the Time of Corona – Golden Age Theatre Company | Review

In a timespan of a few months, Jake (Ivan Comisso) has become a different person. Some have asserted that a year of following social distancing guidelines will have aged them by a decade, and while this may apply to Jake it doesn’t, on the surface level at least, appear to be an entirely bad thing. In the opening scene, he portrays himself as – though he would never say the word – a misogynist, who effectively only sees women as sexual objects to be conquered. He has no interest, he says, in being in a relationship, and doesn’t call his dates back, preferring instead for them to call him (and if they don’t, well, there’s plenty more fish in the sea and all that).
Love in the Time of Corona

Thanks to the national lockdown, Jake simply can’t follow his usual routine of using dating apps to hook up with someone, going out for drinks with them, taking them back to his place and indulging in bedroom activity. “I honestly feel like I’ve been castrated,” he muses, trying to evoke sympathy but it had me bursting out laughing. Still “swiping right a few times a day”, despite there being zero opportunity to (legally) pursue his usual diet of dates, he comes across Lauren, who suggests a Zoom meeting. True to form, Jake immediately ponders the possibility of cybersex, which is “better than nothing” and “the ultimate form of safe sex”.

Given this is itself a monologue in lockdown, it’s all exposition, and ideally, it would have been good to hear things from Lauren’s perspective. There is a lot of narrative detail about, amongst other things, Jake’s flatmate, his best friend, his wider pool of friends and his school experiences, and taken together, it’s not long before the audience forms a comprehensive picture of what he’s like. The possibilities of where this story could go after it ends somewhat abruptly are vast – I’m fairly certain there’s enough scope for a sequel.

The long and the short of it is that Lauren has convinced him to start a relationship with him, and he’s even going as far as deleting his beloved dating apps – all of them. I’m not entirely convinced he won’t resume old habits once social distancing guidelines ease sufficiently. Then again, to return to the point I started with, perhaps he’s just growing up rather quicker than he would have done anyway.

Comisso puts in an engaging performance, and the irony will not be lost on the audience when he gets impassioned about not being able to “stand having [his] feelings manipulated” when watching a television drama. His thoughts and opinions raise a smile on occasion, and not always in a good way, but there are some points to think about when he reassesses the direction of his life. Having the time in lockdown to think about and do things that wouldn’t have otherwise been given the time of day is relatable. A timely and relevant production.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

Jake only wants one thing from women. He uses dating apps to hook up with a different woman every night and he definitely doesn’t do relationships. When the lock-down brings an abrupt halt to his hedonistic lifestyle he finds himself in the unusual situation of striking up a platonic friendship with Lauren. Over the course of their Zoom conversations, Lauren begins to challenge Jake’s priorities and values.

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter
Performed by Ivan Comisso
Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson
Filmed by Ivan Comisso and edited by Howard White
https://www.goldenagetheatre.com/

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