My Romantic History

This event has now finished. Until Nov 27 2010

© Robert Day

Time Out says  

Posted: Wed Nov 3 2010

DC Jackson's acid little romance was a hit this summer at the Edinburgh Festival's most influential commissioning theatre. In many ways it's typical of the Fringe shows beyond the Traverse's hallowed gates: set in an office; manned by a multi-Scots-accented crew of three playing multiple roles; enlivened by cheap booze, high hopes and yucky sex; enervated by pervading sadness and small horizons.

What's not typical is its undeniable quality. Jackson's drama, which opens with its hilariously miserable narrator Tom copping off with colleague Amy on his first week of a new job - is not the play you think it's going to be. 'My Romantic History' is a mocking, ingenious take on the predictable will-they-won't-they round the photocopier.

Without wanting to give too much away, Tom's miserabalist perspective is not the only one you're going to get here. And don't expect the easy candy of a confected romantic climax either. Too often in literature, dismally ill-suited and lacklustre lovers are brought together under the inexorable pressure of romantic cliché. Jackson doesn't reward Tom and Amy with any unearned bliss: theirs is a relationship that begins at its end. Their epiphany, though it comes via a lot of comic retro flashbacks to schoolday crushes, is illumined by nothing more flattering than the cold light of day.

True, the contrast between romantic nostalgia and hungover reality is sometimes two-tone. And the extent of Tom and Amy's self-deception is not plausible. But Alison O'Donnell, Iain Robertson and Rosalind Sydney are excellent as Amy, Tom, their ghastly well-meaning colleague Sasha and a host of other characters illustrating puberty to thirtysomething disillusionment. And Lyndsey Turner's production, which beds down on filing boxes and pops out of cabinets, is almost as nifty as Jackson's script. Well worth the sour taste it leaves behind it.

Bush Theatre details

Bush Theatre, Shepherd's Bush Green, London W12 8QD

Bush Theatre

A small, cash-poor champion of new writers and performers, the Bush Theatre has more than 30 years' experience under its belt with a great record...

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