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Review of 2 Become 1 at the King’s Head Theatre

2 Become 1 at King's Head Theatre2 Become 1: the 90s pop musical is the non-pretentious, lighthearted crowd-pleaser it promises to be.

Written by Natasha Granger and Kerrie Thomason the dialogue joins the dots between the frequent performances of the 90s hits. The storyline is built around three girls taking their freshly single and heartbroken friend out on a night of speed dating. It is the perfect context to unleash the inexhaustible discourse on what women really really want: do they want what they think they want? How do they go about getting it? Where do they go wrong? Do they know themselves well enough to know what they want, or are they taking Cosmo’s word for what it is? In 2 Become 1, as can be deduced from the title, the ultimate fulfillment is contained within the prospect of a relationship: be it with Mr Right or Mr Right Now, depending on the specific desires of each character. This is a play about women craving men – for a one-night stand, for some quirky fun, for romantic love or marriage. In attempts to pursue their idea of a perfect relationship the girls reveal their trademark flaws and quirks, thus giving way to inappropriate banter, social awkwardness, hypersensitivity, co-dependency, and other catalysts of funny situations.

The purpose of this show is to entertain. When touching upon potentially serious topics like identity, relationships, body image, or gender, Swipe Right Theatre choose to swipe swiftly through these themes, bursting into song whenever the exchange of opinions threatens to become too profound and analytical.

Kerrie Thomason demonstrates great mime skills, stealing the show even when being silent on stage as she portrays the comparatively multidimensional character of Molly who seems to have an imminent resistance to the world of Cosmo: it’s hard to imagine her converted even if she tried. A breath of fresh air, Thomason brings an endearing authenticity, as well as an impressive singing voice, to the show. Jessica Brady proves a natural comedian with intrinsic timing, especially during her interactive gems of scenes.

The musical numbers are filled with great energy which rubs off on the audience: this company consistently defy the fourth wall and do it successfully. The musical highlights of the show include an a capella rendition of Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much”, and Christina Aguilera’s “Genie in a Bottle”.

Hysterical sexual and existential frustration, emphasized by relentless lustful pelvic thrusts leaves no space to doubt the elemental power of female libido. These ladies are horny, and it almost becomes tormenting to watch them despair. What I was missing was a journey, a revelation, a change, however small, in any of the characters caused by their experience in the play. There are select, slightly random, moments that stand out in their sincerity and meaningfulness, like Mollie’s reflection on online dating, or a list of affirmations on what a woman should be. However, there is nothing to suggest that after the roaring joyful medley-party at the end of the show, the characters might change their approach to seeking wholeness and self-worth, or at least not feel as pathetic the next day and find some temporary release.

2 Become 1 is a funny show, but let yourself think for a split second, look into the sad truth behind the situation of these four women, and you’re in the danger of weeping instead. Therefore make sure you equip yourself with a careless mind and a determination to enjoy yourself: and so you shall! A good alternative to a panto this Christmas season (certainly not for children though!).

4 stars

Review by Diana Vucane

Comedy pop-musical following four 90s girls embarking on a wild night of speed dating, meeting Mr Wrongs and Mr Rights along the way. A hilarious non-stop journey through infectious pop anthems and ballads. After her recent break-up, Jess is left crying into her Haagen-Dazs, and what better way to unbreak her heart than to meet a man a minute. Relive that 90s love with all your favourite classics from Shania Twain to All Saints and witness speed dating before the takeover of Tinder. 

Booking to 7th January 2017
http://www.kingsheadtheatre.com/

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