Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons
Intelligent, confident and beautifully formed piece of theatrical metaphor
This article is from 2015.
As Nick Watts explains in his 2007 documentary,The Human Footprint, an average person will speak around 123,205,750 words in their lifetime. Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, a new play by Sam Steiner, imagines a world in which proposed legislation will limit people to around 140 words per day.
This Orwellian counteraction to mass-media culture, the 'hush law' as it is called, looms large over the still-young relationship of lawyer Bernadette (Beth Holmes) and musician-activist Oliver (Euan Kitson), as they face the prospect of being together under these new and uncertain conditions.
Steiner's script takes an evident pleasure in the miscommunication of its characters. Playing it for laughs, the language of couples is compared to a cheese grater, while a pre-word limit relationship 'exorcism' designed to air any unspoken grievances is emotionally searing.
The strength of Walrus Theatre’s production lies in its characters, both of whom are given excellently observed and suitably understated performances by Holmes and Kitson. This subtle but effective production directed by Ed Franklin holds its characters in perpetual orbit around each other with a geometrically exact staging.
Steiner' deftly weaves themes of anxiety, power, and status throughout the play with devastating effect. Most notably, at the end of each day, Bernadette and Oliver recite how many words they have left for each other, daring it not to sound like a quantified sum of their love for one another.
Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, is theatrical metaphor worked on to an intricate degree, a love story made beautiful through a contorted paradox of communication: the more we speak, the less we really say.
Zoo Southside, 662 6892, until 22 Aug, 4pm, £9 (£7).