Love Labour! Lost.

I do like a bit of alliteration. It reminds me of a story that Pete Parsons told me a while ago. When he was in little school, his teacher would call all the boys by just their surnames apart from him. He was called by his whole name. One day he approached the teacher and asked why she called the other boys by their surnames but not him. She explained to him that it was because he was an alliteration. He thanked her and went home.

At home, having thought it over, he asked his mother what illiterate meant. When she asked why he wanted to know he said because his teacher said he was one.

Not that that has anything to do with this post…the alliteration of the title refers to a play we saw tonight at the Noel Coward theatre. The play was called Labour of Love and featured Martin Freeman and Tamsin Greig in the main parts.

The play is new. So new, in fact, that it features the 2017 election results. That is when the play begins in an MP’s office in the beginning of the north (or the end of the south). It then goes backwards showing us what has happened over the last 27 years. It’s a marvellous play; very fresh, very British, very funny.

It effectively uses video to take the audience back while the set is changed. While each scene is in the same place, the change of time is reflected in the furnishings, the technology and the clock. And Freeman’s hair. The hair is amazingly clever.

Freeman and Greig had a great chemistry and worked together beautifully though there was almost a bit of a crack up during one particularly slapstick scene. Not that that mattered. It was extremely funny.

The playwright, James Graham, has written quite a few political works (for stage, TV and film) and he totally knows his subject. He also knows how to make an audience laugh. Out loud. A lot. Even the Americans in the front row thought it was funny and they had no idea who anyone was.

I should also mention the wonderful Rachael Stirling who played Elizabeth, who was very different from her role as the wife in The Detectorists.

All round a superb night out. Of course we started at Salieri’s for dinner before wandering up through Covent Garden, which always makes a night complete.

I should mention that Mirinda almost forgot to come to the theatre. When I texted asking how long she’d be she was on a ferry going back to the flat. She jumped off and managed to catch one back. She’s very forgetful at the moment because of work pressures.

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