My Romantic History
Inventive, funny observations of contemporary relationships
This article is from 2010.
In DC Jackson’s new play we meet two pretty ordinary West of Scotland thirtysomethings who, having drifted from a drunken sexual contretemps after an office night out into a slightly uncertain relationship, are thrown back into reflection upon their great first loves. While Tom (Iain Robertson) compares himself to Gandhi in his capacity to passively resist his partners to the point where they must dump him, Amy (Alison O’Donnell) finds herself reluctantly hanging on, if only to spite her self- righteous hippy office mate (Rosalind Sydney). In the meantime, a more grown-up decision looks like being forced upon both.
Lyndsey Turner’s production, complete with Chloe Landsford’s pop-up design that features an abundance of props produced from office drawers and cardboard boxes, captures the deft, cartoonish and witty spirit of this piece, which turns on a he said-she said series of re-enacted incidents. Jackson’s endlessly inventive observation, always a feature of his work, is here combined with a sense of mature craft that endlessly amuses. This is a more clever than profound piece, but its observations of contemporary sexual mores are as pointed as anything you’ll see this fringe, with a series of sparkling set pieces (look out for the subtle masturbation in bed while next to a partner; or the series of motherly emotional consolation clichés, brilliantly strung together; or meeting the ex while lying in the street covered in sick) to ignite the evening. Three wonderfully observed performances add to the joy of it all. It’s been a couple of years since this old theatre hound laughed so much – just see it.
Traverse Theatre, 228 1404, until 29 Aug (not 16, 23), times vary, £15–£17 (£11–£12).