Sunday, July 14

Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons – Harold Pinter Theatre

Bernadette and Oliver meet at a cat’s funeral. One of them is an aspiring musician and the other is a lawyer. One of them has parents who ‘live in a castle’ and the other doesn’t want to have anything to do with the circumstances they worked their way upwards from. As they begin to get to know each other, their past and present, they’re presented with a challenge – they have a strict limit on the amount of words available to speak each day. How many do they need at work and how many can they use at a party? How many are they left with to communicate with each other? What happens when one of them has more words left than the other and what happens when they run out completely? While they use made-up abbreviations and morse code to navigate the literal challenge, what does not having enough words mean for their relationship at a larger level?

Jenna Coleman and Aidan Turner make for a dynamic and energetic duo, all fired up to entertain you for the night in this tender yet hilarious rom-com. Even within the distorted timeline of this semi-fantastical world, both characters are very believable and a couple most people might know in their lives. Josie Rourke’s slick direction makes the play come alive on a plain white oval staging area and focuses on simple yet powerful storytelling. Punchlines are put in at clever intervals by writer Sam Steiner, ensuring hearty laughs among moments of agony and despair. The structure of the show is temporally fragmented, and it takes genius writing for it to be constantly engaging and bring out layers of revelation as the play progresses. The technologically beautiful and delicate stage design by Robert Jones sits a layer behind the main stage, subtly complementing the ongoings on stage.

The only complaint I have with this show is that it felt a little too long and after the wait, the end didn’t have as much closure as the narrative clarity through the play promised. It makes for a hearty and entertaining evening, however, so go watch the show to know where it got its name from!

Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons runs until 18th March 2023 and tickets can be found at https://www.haroldpintertheatre.co.uk/shows/lemons-lemons-lemons-lemons-lemons

Reviewer: Aditi Dalal

Reviewed: 31st January 2023

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

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