This debut play from actor Ian Hallard is a charming comedy about love in lockdown. As the middle-aged Rosalind and Richard get to know one another, over Zoom chats and then a drunken dinner IRL, we get to fall in love with two quirky characters who both have enormous appeal. And not just because Rosalind wants to be a National Trust volunteer, which makes her my kind of woman. Hallard has enough observations on our times, on middle-class life and on modern romance to make the show jolly. Awkward chuckles abound – the two never catch each other’s references, and there are laugh-out-loud jokes about aubergines and Arlene Foster (now there’s a combination).
The show is driven by the fantastic chemistry between Hallard and his co-star Sara Crowe. I can pat myself on the back for praising their previous performance in the show Tonight at 8.30. With director Khadifa Wong’s help, the performers’ generosity to one another is clear and aids the show immeasurably. Hallard has written two convincing back stories (that win considerable sympathy) but it is Crowe who gets to surprise. Rosalind is a “late starter” with a little ruthless streak that makes a good twist for such a gentle comedy. Her journey of self-discovery is portrayed with such skill that the play’s tidy ending leaves you wishing her well for adventures that are sure to follow.
Until 28 March 2021