Dirty Great Love Story was just the tonic I needed after an extraordinarily peculiar week on the world stage. It’s a one-man and one-woman romp directed by Pia Furtado and with some energetic performances by Felix Scott and Ayesha Antoine, executed mostly in rhyme. Originally a 10-minute award-winning Edinburgh Fringe piece, written in 2012 by Richard Marsh and Katie Bonna, it’s now made its West End debut at the Arts Theatre in Covent Garden.
Meet Richard, an awkward, geeky and lovable “knight in shining glasses.” Meet Katie, a recently dumped gluten-intolerant singleton, prone to alcoholic mishaps and with a bad case of sarcasm. The pair meet at a hen and stag do in a nightclub and have the obligatory shameful one-night stand in a Travelodge, thinking they will never meet again.
What follows is a succession of fender-benders between them over the next two years at barbecues, Christmas parties, festivals, weddings and christenings. They’re joined on stage by Richard’s best friend Westy, the Northerner and CC, Katie’s irritating la-di-da friend. There’s also Richard’s girlfriend Lindsay and Katie’s boyfriend Matt who should really be called Pratt. All six roles are seamlessly played by Scott and Antoine and with great comedic dexterity.
It’s not really that dirty: there’s a blow-job gone wrong and an awkward breast cupping moment, but on the whole this is an adorable rom-com à la Richard Curtis meets Bridget Jones. A tacky Christmas jumper and obligatory wedding country pile even make an appearance. Yes, Dirty Great Love Story was most definitely the gin, the tonic and the lemon that I needed!
Playing at The Arts Theatre until the 18th March 2017
Tickets from £20 – £45
Run time: 85 minutes with no interval
About the Arts Theatre
The Arts Theatre in Covent Garden is only a 1 minute walk from Leicester Square tube station. It’s a cosy, intimate playhouse with 350 seats in the main auditorium and 60 seats on the first floor. There’s a members’ only cocktail bar downstairs but you can gate-crash with an Arts Theatre ticket. The Madd Hatter’s Café in the theatre foyer serves yummy Fortnum and Mason’s cakes, but it’s the tea lattes that have me smiling like a Cheshire cat (try the macadamia or the butterscotch).