Life for Beginners

3 out of 5 stars
Life for Beginners

An Aran-jumper-wearing feminist sperm is one character in this sweetly acted, multi-authored sketch play, a not-so-'Fast Show' about the flutterings and hesitations of the human heart.

Penned separately by Alice Birch, Ben Ellis, Matt Hartley, Lizzie Nunnery and Rex Obano, the five rotating storylines take in love in old age and love in youth, love unrequited and betrayed, and faith in your lover versus fear of the outside world. 'But what's happening in Greece?' frets Katie McGuinness's egg as she dithers over doing it with Alex Beckett's oddball sperm.

Not such a radical survey, then, and Obano's string of sketches about reality TV and boob jobs feels especially slow off the mark. Directors Tim Roseman and Paul Robinson need more imaginatively staged moments such as the exuberant SMS-ing between two teens, which becomes a flurry of Post-it notes slapped across each other's bodies and the stage.

But there's plenty of funny, honest writing ('My bowels feel safe around literature,' says Jacqueline King's older woman, meeting her internet date in a bookshop) and Nunnery's tale, about a jilted researcher releasing her butterfly specimens, ties the various tremblings together with a pretty metaphysical bow.


Event phone: 020 7978 7040
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