Shy of half an hour in length, Pedro Leandro’s play isn’t reticent when it comes to its themes of friendship and unrequited love. For such a short show, this two-hander is hugely satisfying.
The flatmates who discuss a possible romance between each other, made all the more awkward by their shared pessimism, are great characters with distinctive world views. Neither woman suffers fools, or each other, gladly. It’s hard not to like them very quickly and admiration for Leandro’s cleverly written banter instantaneous too.
Much praise goes to director Evan Lordan and performers Stephanie Booth and Hannah Livingstone whose deadpan deliveries bring out the humour in the piece. It must be tough to react so subtly, especially when the scenario is touching and heartfelt. That both women get so much meaning out of a monotonous delivery is fantastic.
This brand of miserabilism is smart. And, yes, appropriate for our times: that love is described as “like the flu” works well too. Cynicism isn’t always appealing but here it creates sincerity as both women realise that, beyond their negativity they want someone to “see us and say yes”. If you think the two would probably make a great couple, it only makes Leandro’s text all the more bittersweet.
Until 24 October 2020