You Only Live Forever (4 stars)

This article is from 2018

You Only Live Forever

Roxy Dunn and Alys Metcalf's meta-comedy is both daft and clever

Viscera Theatre's You Only Live Forever is a playful piece that straddles the lines between theatre and comedy wonderfully. Written and performed by Roxy Dunn (who's also busy with Timmy this Fringe) and Alys Metcalf, it follows two budding actors as they lead the audience through a one-off workshop – providing an insight into the 'technical shorthand' of two auteurs – with the story they walk through serving as the play's main narrative thrust.

Another meta-comedy, then, from the duo that brought us In Tents and Purposes in 2016. The workshop bickering is a treat; with Dunn preferring verbose, theoretical digressions and Metcalf opting for more of a conversational approach, and with anecdotes that have nothing to do with the theatre featuring prominently. They explain their montages, their skill with accents and dialects and the alternative ending Metcalf had written. Rather than distracting from You Only Live Forever's story, the meta stuff serves to both poke fun at writing partnerships and act as a bizarre love letter to teamwork.

The story itself is a touching one; exploring a relationship that's altered forever when one gains the power of eternal life. Sharply written and skilfully acted; You Only Live Forever is as daft as it's clever – and all the more enjoyable for it.

Assembly George Square Studios, until 27 Aug, 1.35pm, £11 (£10)

You Only Live Forever

  • 4 stars

Viscera Theatre Two lovers. One elixir. Everlasting consequences… The creators of five-star sell-out hit, In Tents and Purposes (SOHO Theatre/UK Tour), return to compete with their egos in a new comedy play about the reality of living for eternity. ‘A breath of fresh air' (Times). 'An hour well spent in the company of two…