Dirty Great Love Story

Theatre, West End
3 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(6user reviews)
 (© Richard Davenport)
© Richard DavenportAyesha Antoine and Felix Scott
 (© Richard Davenport)
© Richard DavenportFelix Scott and Ayesha Antoine
 (Richard Davenport)
Richard DavenportDirty Great Love Story Production Photos Photo Credit: Richard Davenport for The Other Richard

More than a touch of Richard Curtis to this rhyming romcom

Katie is a hen. Richard is a stag. And after one awkward drunken encounter they can't stop meeting. This award-winning two-hander stumbles through a romance in furiously punny rhyming couplets.

The first time round, the play’s authors Katie Bonna and Richard Marsh played themselves. This time, Ayesha Antoine and Felix Scott introduce themselves (slightly weirdly) using the authors' names. Under Pia Furtado's direction, they flit between a whole wedding party's worth of characters, and land one-liners with aplomb.

This might be poetry, but it's definitely not pretentious. Instead, it's ingeniously ordinary, a whole box set of Richard Curtis films chopped up and served in a kind of verbal buffet of wedding snogs, drunken clinches, awkward poshos, and uncharacteristically flamboyant declarations of love. 

And as these two horny thirtysomethings booze and rut their way through a series of heterosexual rites of passage, each drunken fuck-up gets the crowd rooting for them to get together a little harder: Richard's 'Shall I tell her?' gets a resounding audience 'Yes!'.

It's properly good fun. But its warts-and-all honesty sometimes feels a bit sad, as well as sappy. Like the slightly weird way that Richard teases Katie for being too drunk to remember their first encounter. Or the sudden appearance of Katie's frenzied baby hunger, which seems to motivate her eventual 'Yes' just as much as the gluten-free croissants he brings her.

So the love story didn’t quite get me all gooey-eyed or wobbly kneed or however you’re supposed to feel. But it’s great seeing a show grow from a poetry reading in a Balham pub to a teeny-tiny fringe space to the dirty great hall of a West End theatre, and these two klutzs fill it adorably.

By: Alice Savile


Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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1 of 1 found helpful

I wasn't expecting much, but this is a really clever production.  It is extremely relate able, the two actors on stage play a number of roles and the stage is very minimal which means you really need to use your imagination but at the same time, it's not hard as there is nothing to distract you from doing so.  The thing that I love about this, is the whole thing is storytelling done in prose AND is so easy to understand!  Give it a go, it's really refreshing!


For anyone who's experienced the London dating scene, this play will resonate with you... especially if you're in your 30s and still struggling to find "the one". Absolutely hilarious and cleverly written (in rhyming couplets no less), this show is a must-see!


Yet another love story..... How could this possibly not be boring? 

Except right from the start, this play turns such a popular genre into a true amazing piece of art. 

The two actors bounce onto the stage and act out about 3 characters each over 90 minutes. Its fast paced and theres a little bit of audience participation but youre so into the story you just want to shout ASK HER OUT!!! You feel you are living the pain, the laughs and the disco scene. 

If you are in your 30s, gluten free and from South London a lot of the play will resonate with you. There's even a special shout out to Petts Wood much to my delight as I use to live next door to that place of the world. 

I read the timeout review of this and I am truly impressed its gone from a poetry reading in Balham to the Fringe to a London Theatre. Long may this good run, run. Btw there are still poetry excerpts in the play. If I could give this 6 stars I would! 


I could not recommend this play higher! It was really great and I am so glad I got tickets on the spur of the moment with todaytix. It is a very small and intimate theatre, you can easily get a great view. The play is a love story between the two actors, who describe everything to you, its just them and a couple of props, but the story and their performance truly make the show so much more! They play multiple characters throughout and explain what each of their main characters is thinking. It all works so well together, and best of all the story is really relatable and real.


We actually laughed out loud, it was very clever, funny and even rhymed. The two actors played 3 different characters each but so easy to follow, really well done. Went for 90 minutes very easy to watch, never a dull moment.

My boyfriend and I decided to see this and like the previous reviewer we were unsure what to expect but we found an uplifting gem. We also liked the fact it was only an hour and a half with no interval meaning you could go out for a bite to eat afterwards. I'm sure it's a hit for thirty somethings and others; there was a buzzy vibe and I loved the intimate theatre.