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Edinburgh Fringe 2012

Love All

Cheery Wild

Genre: Comedy, Drama


Assembly Roxy


Low Down

Bizarre but true stories from the 19th century dealing with death and dismemberment are not normally fodder for comedy, but Love All manages to successfully combine the freakish with farce in this fast-paced feat.


Based on the rather macabre story of Irish Tennis legend, Vere St Ledger Goold, who in 1879 won at the inaugural Irish National Tennis Championships and then competed at Wimbledon later that year (we are reminded of this often throughout the performance), Love All is a slick comical 2-hander, that showcases the talents of two impressively versatile performers

Tadhg Hickey and Aideen Wylde, who co-wrote the piece along with director Donal Gallagher, perform not only the two main protagonists, but a number of other roles as well, joyously romping through the storyline swapping in and out of roles differentiating each with only slight physical adjustments and vocal intonation.  In a cleverly devised parallel layer, we watch the love/hate relationship of the two vaudevillian style storytelling characters.  It is their asides and banter, sometimes heard off-stage, that weaves the delightfully comical thread throughout.

Equally notable is Deirdre Dwyer’s economical set and costume design.  With the performers dressed in tennis whites (plus stunning red corset in the case of Wylde), they play simply on an artificial grass mat, utilising only a trunk of props placed in the centre, and a mannequin to one side.  Adding to the vaudevillian variety act feel, is an easel with large placards, used effectively to highlight each change of scene.  Sound and lighting are used effectively throughout, and even included in the comedy is the technician, who, at one delightful point in the performance, refuses to do his sound cue because he has been offended by the actors on stage.

Along with the rest of the audience in attendance, I was captivated by every aspect of this performance, even though the subject material wasn’t appealing to some.  This is a thoroughly enjoyable hour of entertainment that I highly recommend you see while you can.