by Simon Vinnicombe.
CLF Art Café The Bussey Building 133 Rye Lane Peckham SE15 4ST To 28 September 2013.
Mon-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sat 3pm.
Runs: 1hr 40min No interval.
TICKETS: 0844 477 1000
Review: Carole Woddis 11 September.
Play about love that’s a play to love.
Love in the 21st century in all its tender, shimmering trials and tribulations is laid out in Simon Vinnicombe’sCity Love, one more feather in the cap of Peckham’s Bussey Building -a love letter also to London, its streets and bars, haunts and buildings serving as a back-drop to a two-hander performed on bare platforms by two remarkable actors with only the minutiae of every-day life hanging from cardboard and string to distract us from their 100 minute roller-coaster.
Anyone who has been in love will recognise Vinncombe’s truthful anatomisation of the fretting and fear, the sweat and insecurity lovers go through on encountering another human being as the person who makes their skin tingle and heart pound. Vinnicombe has caught it in all its painful, wondrous engulfing tumult, encapsulated in the tremulous figure of Ian Bonar’s Jim, a graphic designer so obsessed with his inadequacy as a `real man’ it destroys the perfect harmony a late-night chance encounter on the number 12 bus with Natasha Broomfield’s Glasgow-born Lucy is offering.
Both Bonar and Broomfield shine with the ardour of genuine emotion. You absolutely believe – and are irritated by – Bonar’s intense self-deprecating timidity and Broomfield in her 21st female independence gradually giving way to amazement and trust, inevitably then caught up in coupledom and the desire for children.
By the by, Vinnicombe, a writer already an award-winner and on commission to the National Theatre and Soho, provides a fascinating portrait of the effect of environment and cultural mores on inner emotional agendas, behaviour and expectations in today’s romantic relationships.
No wonder they founder. No wonder Vinnicombe sets the duologue within a framework of a counselling session where the two protagonists spill out the hurt and pain that ensues in the misunderstandings when the light in the eyes goes out. Sadly love does not conquer all. It is, after all, dangerous, explosive.
Vinnicombe’s extraordinary honesty and director Sarah Bedi’s delicate handling of the material make this a heart-wrenching experience that could be applied in many other topographical or sexual combinations, for the frisson and destructive, destabilising force of insecurities are constants.
Jim: Ian Bonar.
Lucy: Natasha Broomfield.
Director: Sarah Bedi
Designer: Zanna Mercer
World premiere of City Love at the CLF Art Café, Bussey Building, Peckham Rye 10 September 2013.
Produced by The Orange Line Collective, supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.