Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons arrived in Cardiff to live up to the hype of being one of the hits of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The opportunity was eagerly met.
Welcomed to The Other Room it was a great space for this play. I was a little wary walking in, with the audience seated around the stage. This only served to increase the usual sense of intimacy associated with this theatre space.
Sam Steiner’s Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons is cleverly written. Enabling the audience to embrace the complexities of relationships – either enforced through culture or our individuality.
Whilst there is a heavy political theme running through, for me it is the retained questions around love and relationships which made this play beautiful.Bernadette and Oliver meet at a Pet Cemetery. There is a humour from the off, which eases the audience into a stage only consisting of two microphone stands. A relationship unfolds. And I loved this, maybe it was too forced in direction, but maybe that’s all relationships. Starting with so much effort. The changing power in a relationship. The begins of the mundane. Of taking so much foregranted.
And so we find the catalyst of the story, the conundrum in this play.
What if social media dictating 14o characters didn’t come first?
“The average person will speak 123,205,750 words in a lifetime. But what if there were a limit?”
And in this play we watch the introduction of a law, mandating a maximum use of 140 words per day.
The theme of civil liberty creeps in, and alongside activism so comes the conflict of role of belief, acceptance. What is you are an activist to your partner’s career choice of a family (divorce) lawyer?
What if the lead up to the law being implemented was the same time as your relationship becoming the norm, the comfortable, the mundane?
The exploration of the use of language is riveting. How many words would you hold back for a loved one? What power plays take place with a lack of, or excess of words?
Whilst there is an undoubted interest in the ability of government’s to introduce laws, underpinning motives seemingly unknown, for me, as someone who struggles with ‘concise’ it is about waste.
How much do language to we waste in the superfluous? Would we be more considerate if we were limited? Would we waste time talking about throwing bricks through windows at HMV?
Why do we treat words with more importance than instinct? Why do we trust the language of words when we know body language is telling us so much more?Euan Kitson and Beth Holmes capture the complexities of a relationship beautifully. The contrast between the two, and the changing balance carefully directed by Ed Madden creates conviction, empathy and humour. It is the clever combination of these three elements which makes the play a joy.