THEATRE REVIEW: Dirty Great Love Story ★★★★
Dirty Great Love Story
Arts Theatre, London
Monday 6th March 2017
Winner of a Fringe First at Edinburgh in 2012, Dirty Great Love Story follows the lives of Katie (Ayesha Antoine) and Richard (Felix Scott), who both first meet at ‘Atrium’, a club to which both characters are a part of a hen & stag do. Right from the beginning, Antoine and Scott connect instantly with the audience due to the fourth wall being broke and the two actors talking to us as their characters, to which their is a brilliant homage to turning our phones off during the show, or putting it on ‘Airplane Mode’ as Felix puts it, just like the majority of us probably do, myself especially.
It’s this connection with the audience that constantly stays throughout the production because this is a recollection of the night Katie and Richard first meet and ultimately have sexual intercourse. The production is cleverly written to have all speech spoken in rhyme, and this really works considering it really allows the characters to bounce off each other, which is a joy to watch as we follow the various encounters they have with each other over the span of two years. Throughout this production we also get to meet the friends of our protagonists who are portrayed through Antoine and Scott completely changing their postures to suit the variety of characters, which is brilliant and seriously funny when you have Richard fighting with Matt Priest, a posh douche who also sleeps with Katie, as they are played by the same actor, so a fight scene which happens near the end of the production is hilarious to watch.
A real element which really worked for me in this show was the use of lighting, which mainly come from off-stage left and right as well as from the floor, which was marked out of 20 squares, 5 by 5, which would light up in random patterns which really gave the sense of some of the scenes which were set in a club, or specific squares lit up if a character was situated in that space. It was a really nice touch to see and made me realise another point about why I like watching productions from the circle instead of the stalls.
Overall, Dirty Great Love Story is a hilarious, laugh out loud funny play which really compels you into the lives of Richard, Katie, and all their acquaintances in a tale which is so relevant to today's society which I why I think it should be seen by anyone, because even though there is nothing spellbinding about the production, it’s a brilliant night out to the theatre to experience some quality acting from a space as fitting as the Arts Theatre for this heartwarming production.