Love, Lies and Taxidermy has been touring the country since July. A co-production between Paines Plough, Sherman Theatre and Theatr Clwyd, finally welcomed to Cardiff.
It feels slightly odd to see a production of three actors, given the seeming recent trend of ‘two-handers’. Probably as odd as sitting in a theatre in the round with emphasis on “don’t sit in the red seats”. The red seats being the extent of the set for the production. Everything left to sound, lighting and the actors. A bold decision.Remy Beasley, Richard Corgan and Andy Rush more than step up to the challenge. There is a wonderful personability created by Rush and Beasley as the romantic teenage tale unfolds.
Love, Lies and Taxidermy tells the story of love in a one-road town.
Life where all the road to Tesco is the one most driven.
Where life where your parents problems come first gets in the way of love.
Life where cultural acceptance comes from taxidermy.
Love best spoken by your efforts to ensure your girlfriend doesn’t star in a porno.
And did I mention ensuring Mr Tutti-Frutti doesn’t end up in prison?
Alan Harris wonderfully combines life and the surreal, based in Merthyr Tydfil, an underpinning theme of first love, there are moments of recognition. Which cleverly surround the moments of comedy and farce. There is a clever intimacy created by George Perrin, the simplicity of the red chairs resulting in direct communication with the audience, all the time retaining the personability, and the pace.
The performance is made by the pace, the dexterity of the three actors, the wonderful character of Valentine, Ashley, Mr Tutti-Frutti, Jakob, Vicky, Maxie and the members of the Conservative Club. The energy is maintained, changing constantly, allowing the audience to come on the journey. The laughter is genuine, the love story sincere.
It’s difficult to have a preference, the love story created by Rush and Beasley was real and far-fetched, engaging through its humour. But it was the characterisations created by Corgan which maintained energy as well creating fantastic humour. The fun of the characters and their embellishments.
There is something rewarding in the exhaustion of the pace, the happy ending. The idea of sitting in a two-seater cinema. Paines Plough commission, produce and tour plays across the UK.
The Sherman Theatre is a producing theatre in Cardiff, with a wide and varied programme for all age ranges.
Disclosure: I was invited to the performance for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions contained are my own.