Senseless Romance

It’s a fascinating play, is Senseless Romance from People Zoo Productions, written by Gavin Shankland and directed by Joe Mellor.  The real time action takes place over a short time, but each scene is repeated again and again, with subtle differences, both revealing what is in each character’s mind and offering alternative outcomes depending on the snap decisions they make.  It’s an ambitious piece of writing, and it is down to the quality of the writing and of the acting that the end result is very effective.

The cast of six perform entirely facing forward, as if we the audience are complicit in what is happening.  Three couples meet in a restaurant, the constant low beat of service behind them.    A married couple celebrate their anniversary with the history of an affair clouding their judgement.  A first date bodes ill when the woman takes off her engagement ring as the man enters.  A woman discovers that her new partner has a secret that could affect her career and her life.  All the dialogue is between the couples themselves, but there is a significant overlap of themes, and dialogue often cuts between conversations.

It’s a tricky play to pull off, the dialogue is circular and the actors never see each other, and so it relies on a strong cast, which is what we get.  We’re really looking in this play about revealing depth of character, and the cast generally do this well.  And timing is spot on.

Senseless Romance is a fascinating play, with an engaging structure and great acting.  It’s very different, and well worth seeing.  At Kings Arms until 16 July 2016.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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