Katzpace Theatre, London – until 2 May 2018
Days of courting and asking for parents’ approval is long gone, in its place is the fast food equivalent of romance with apps such as Tinder and Plenty of Fish. Inspired by David Mamet’s play, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Woohoo Debbie has devised a show around intimate and often confusing relationships. Set in London, a cast of five explore awkward first dates, relationship status debates and office stalkers; it’s not easy going in search for love in the big city.
GAPS will make you laugh and your blood boil. Stocked with witty one-liners, “Are you my appendix? Because I think I should take you out?”, “I don’t know why I let you see my vagina”, this production embodies the modern dating scene to a fine point. Britain’s ability to leave humanity behind and stick to the rules is brilliantly depicted in the HR scene where Helen’s office stalker is constantly given the benefit of the doubt and Helen is shushed and sneered at even though she has evidence of his harassing behaviour. Although the production illustrates several different relationships, in order to reflect the London city it’s based in, relationships outside of heterosexual norms would have given a more tangible portrayal.
Charlotte Shaw’s depiction of Molly will ring true to the audience, a complex young woman with no rush to label her relationship, Shaw plays this role with natural ease. Carolina Grierson captures the fears, excitement and curiosity of a city newby brilliantly, full of innocence – juxtaposed by her frustration and anger later in the production. Sam Peterson cleverly delivers a cocky sweet talker the audience immediately see through, the exact angle needed to portray this devious character.
Grace Venning has designed GAPS with bursts of colour, from floating balloons through to vivid chairs. Paired with Gemma Mitchell’s graphic design projected on the back wall, the visual adds the pace of London to this production. A simple frame and fairy lights illuminate each characters face to present a dating site’s profile picture, each accompanied by their bio’s, all hilarious and ruthlessly truthful. GAPS doesn’t shy away from cringe moments, it embraces them and runs wild.