Brighton Fringe 2010
Venue: Marlborough Little Theatre
Festival: Brighton Fringe
Three different women all have one thing in common – internet dating! One is a sex maniac, one a housewife and the other is a nobody. They all share the same man. Who will come out on top?
The intimate surroundings of The Marlborough Little Theatre were the ideal settings for Rosalind Adler’s follow up to Jubilate. This time we saw the lives of three women who are very different, but all have the theme of internet dating in common.
We first see Mags – a busybody housewife who seems to be in denial that her husband and herself are in trouble romantically. This was portrayed well by the fact she always kept herself busy – like ironing or small chores around the house. Always looking for other projects to keep occupied – even by setting one of her friends up for internet dating.
Rosalind has a very good character here as she starts off as someone who you really don’t take notice of at first, but when she finds out that her husband has been cheating on her, she comes to life and the denial becomes larger, hence the need to make one of Rollo’s (the husband) ladies into a project for her to work on. The sad belief she has as Rollo weaves more lies is heartbreaking to watch also.
Lucinda is the next character to follow. The lady who adores sex and seems to crave it constantly from online dating as it’s portrayed as easy to do. This despite it being a good character, just didn’t seem to sit well with Rosalind as the play progressed, because unlike her other two characters who are more down to earth, Lucinda seems to be a caricature rather than a fully rounded person. This in a way distracted from what was being shown to us – particularly as the comedy lines coming out of her were more throw away and didn’t get the possible reaction that was required. That is, more laughter – instead, what happened was one or two people laughing and not the whole audience. Perhaps with more conviction in the purpose her lines serve, she will get more of a reaction for this good character.
It was her final character that really came to life – a lady in glasses who didn’t know how to dress properly when we first met her, who was an avid romantic with her head stuck in Mills and Boon novels. Her journey was the most startling out of all of them as she starts off as the lady who gets stood up by Rollo not long after they first meet, before turning into an obssessive monster due to being one of Mags’ projects. She changes visually as well as personality wise in front of our eyes and it was nice to see a very different side to her as the play progressed.
This theme of internet dating can be a difficult one to portray in general, but Rosalind Adler generally has nice links with all three women with a good storyline and sensitively handles the subject matter well.
However, what did let this production down was the spaces in between each character. Despite having male voices taking on different people on the internet dating scene as background whilst she changed, a lot of the time we were just sitting in the audience waiting for the voices to end as she changed quite quickly. If they were shortened a little, then the changes would be more slick in general. Also, a couple of times, some of the sound cues came in too early which distracted from the action.
Despite this, LOL is a show that has a good sturdy structure to it and a very well handled subject matter. With further tightening and tweaking, this could be a show that changes from good to superb