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Theatre/Comedy Review: Love 2.0 (***)

Lorna Irvine reviews 'a fine, fun, fizzy' look at modern love.

“I am human and I need to be loved,” sighed Morrissey on plaintive Smiths hit single How Soon Is Now? “Just like everybody else does.” Perky, vacuous Suzie (Lucy Goldie) and pretentious sociopath Gary (Samuel Keefe) feel his pain. Both burn with adolescent yearning, channelled in very different ways: Gary, through existentialist writers and porn; Suzie, through the cheesy, faux-soul of Simply Red and dance classes.

So far, so sexually stereotyped. Yet, all is not as it first appears. Writer/director/composer Andy McGregor's cringemaking un-PC script has a fair amount of belly laughs and a makeshift Adam and Joeaesthetic to the set design--a marvellous facilitator of tonal shifts by Kirsty McCabe. Festooned with childish accouterments (comedy specs, 1D print, teddy bears, tin cans representing Skype) the pair wobbily navigate the building blocks of dating through social media interaction. But of course, the gulf between who they really are and who they present on Instagram is gargantuan.

As time passes, the unsuitable duo (who are introduced by unseen mutual mate Big Dave) are 'poke'-ing and 'LOL'-ing each other's brains out with unbridled passion, until the inevitable excruciating first date in a cafe, with dodgy advice from Neil Strauss' The Game andCosmopolitan magazine--respectively, 'negging' (using negative comments as reverse psychology) and exposing 'erogenous' wrists.

Some nice, absurdist direction through musical theatre and contemporary dance parody brings a cartoonish brio to the piece. Goldie and Keefe have energy to spare (particularly Keefe, on excellent form, his every Tourettic outburst and increasingly puce face a real joy) yet Suzie's volte face towards the end seems a little lacking in credibility.

Nonetheless, with its recognisable one-liners and a fully committed twosome, it's a fine, fun, fizzy scrutiny of how Twitter etc can make Twits of us all.

Touring throughout Scotland until 28th March.


Twitter: @SWtheatre

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