To Love or to Forget? My Romantic History REVIEW
Memory and Love can be fickle friends. One minute it seems you have all of life's great conundrums figured out, the next, you're looking back on your past with disdain (or disbelief) at what has been, or better yet, what could have been. In D.C. Jackson's My Romantic History, now playing at English Theatre Berlin, we find several young 30-somethings grappling with their own loves and losses, in a fun and energetic romp through the pleasures and perils of office romance.
We first meet Tom, played by the sparky Chris Davis. His Scottish brogue lilts melodically as he addresses the audience sharing his deepest, if not always profound, thoughts on the pitfalls of his love life. It seems Tom is just like you or me -- a man with a tumultuous past who is looking for a future, and perhaps a good time or two along the way. His first day in the office finds him face to face with women all but throwing themselves at him. Or at least that's the way he sees it. Before long, he's "dating" a fellow co-worker, much to his chagrin, and we're headlong into the traumas of modern-day relationships.
The play takes several nice turns, and the women of the company also lend their comic timing and wit to the show. By the second part, we're following Amy (Lorna Jones) who recounts the same stories Tom just did, but this time from her perspective. It's a witty, clever take on the war of the sexes. Jackson has crafted a unique story of the memories of love's losses and the modern-day romance through fast paced dialogue and snarky asides, which keep the audience engaged and laughing through the duration of the show.
Jude Christian's smart and fluid directing style aids the story nicely, painting the picture of office romances gone bad through conveniently placed boxes and props. This is a play of speed, and characters change from one person to another, from the present to the past, in changes so quick you hardly notice. Pip Swallow, as the overly eager office co-worker, deserves a special mention for her incredibly nimble changes and the wonderful support she lends her fellow co-stars. It is a pleasure watching her on the stage, and we cringe each time her overly-nice smile shines condescendingly down on her co-workers.
In the end, the play serves as a jocular reminder to the tragedy of the modern romance. It may not be the most profound look at love we've ever seen cross a stage, but it keeps you laughing. Just like real love does. So go out to see My Romantic History. It'll help you forget your past for a few hours, and laugh at the absurdity of it all.
19 Aug - 2 Sept (daily except Mondays) 8pm
directed by Jude Christian / with Lorna Jones, Pip Swallow and Chris Davis / set and costume design by Laurin Kelsey / light design by Katri Kuusimäki / image by Anna Clark
Tickets 18€ / 10€ Students | on Tuesdays all tickets 9€
POST SHOW TALK WITH PLAYWRIGHT DC JACKSON AND DIRECTOR JUDE CHRISTIAN ON THURSDAY AUGUST 25th !