Thursday, September 28

Remember The Before – Hen & Chickens Theatre

An unnamed couple try to pick over their relationship memories, but why do their memories differ?  An intriguing peek into this couple’s relationship history, who have been given numbers and not names (one is played by Sarah Pearcey and two by Jed McLoughlin). 

Written by Jed McLoughlin and directed by Pippa Dykes, the story arc gives plenty in terms of intrigue.  Jed’s character (One) buzzes, as his extrovert nature wins over his partner when they first meet, he is funny, lovable, and larger than life, whereas Sarah (Two) is more reserved, but loves his outgoing nature.  The couple clearly care about each other, but it is unclear whether they have a future together, as their shared experiences don’t appear to have evolved into shared memories.  It asks the question, how important are joint memories in a romantic relationship?  I won’t give any more detail about the storyline as I don’t want to hinder the future audience’s enjoyment of the play.

Sarah Pearcey and Jed McLoughlin have a wonderful chemistry, which left me feeling as though I wanted to know more about this couple.  As a member of the audience, I want to connect with the characters and to care about what happens to them, and the fact that they didn’t have names, made it more difficult to bond with them – I’m not sure if there is a reason for this, but I didn’t fathom it out.  This is a very personal story about caring and intimacy, and there are wonderful moments when McLoughlin and Pearcey connect, during tender moments when their characters remember why they are together; why they fell in love. 

The story dips in and out of their jigsaw of memories, and as an audience, our job is to piece together these memories, to form a whole picture.  The writing gives the characters wonderful comedy moments, McLoughlin’s exuberance is endearing, which is the perfect foil for Pearcey’s more introverted character.  The genius in the writing is the unexpected twists and turns – this play is definitely worth a look whilst the Camden Fringe Festival is on, but hurry, as today is the last day.

Reviewer: Caroline Worswick

Reviewed: 22nd August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.