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Theatre Review: You Only Live Forever ****

Michael Cox reviews a production that 'proves irresistible'.

Las Vegas. Two women watch a recently married couple from afar—one the groom’s sister, cynical of his latest marriage, the other a gate crasher who’s just gone through a break up. It’s love at first sight. But also on hand is a tech genius who’s invented a potion that can grant eternal life, a potion that only one of the women drinks.

And scene! The two actresses/writers drop character and tell us that they will give commentary on the creative process, explaining inside jokes and why decisions were made in the creation of each scene.

Welcome to You Only Live Forever, the latest production by Roxy Dunn and Aly Metcalf. Anyone lucky enough to have caught their show In Tents and Purposes two years ago will know what to expect: zany dialogue and scenarios combined with moments of pathos.

This latest production is a bit of a double-edged sword in comparison to that previous play: it’s much more confident but feels too similar. The production’s gimmick of the two performers encroaching on each other’s personalities and creative processes can get a little old and sometimes gets in the way of a convincing enough idea. A lot of the humour is also based on professional oneupmanship and theatrical inside jokes.

And yet, Dunn and Metcalf have such a wonderful interplay with each other and are so charming and funny on stage that any disagreement with choices within the material can only be met with a shrug, because the production is an absolute delight—Dunn and Metcalf are so watchable and likeable these quibbles are easily forgiven.

You Only Love Forever might not have a lot of originality, but it has such heart and showcases Dunn and Metcalf’s comedic chops so well it proves irresistible.

You Only Live Forever is at Assembly George Square at 1.35pm until August 27th.

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