Theatre review: Love in the Past Participle
Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: Love in the Past Participle at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall (Venue 53), reviewed by David Pollock
Written by John May, a Barclay’s Young Writers award winner based in Glasgow, this piece comprises four separate monologues read by actors seated at desks arranged in series across the centre of the stage.
Physically, it’s unusually static – none of the players move from their place throughout the performance, and the fact they’re seated doesn’t go well with this room, where the un-raked seating makes it hard for most of the audience to see each of the performers. However, May’s vivid and evocative writing and four more-than-capable acting performances mask any deficiencies of the format.
We come to learn that the women are partners, as are the men, and their courtships and interactions are described in thoughtful detail, with some lovely, incisive lines which note that “blind dates for lesbians are like a game of Snap” or that one character is “exposed brick and original features” while their partner is “pebbledash”.
It’s all warm and comfortingly familiar, which has the effect of lending May’s verbal crescendo as the threads tie together at the end of the show real emotional force.
Dramatic but unforced demonstrations of the ways love can cease to be ensue, and those watching might be inclined to reflect on their own responses in the aftermath.
Originally published in The Scotsman