Sunday, 11 February 2018

REVIEW: Fool for Love at The Courtyard Theatre

A stones throw away from Old Street station is the Courtyard Theatre or as I like to call it ‘The theatre Shoreditch adjacent’. I was told about the premise of this play and had to see it. The courtyard theatre is humble space and with a friendly vibe to it. Like any fringe theatre the performance space is an open black box space. The set was minimal, a chair, table with drink on, a window hung in mid air and a double bed in the middle of the room. 

We’re drawn first to The Old Man (Brian Voakes) who walks around the stage turning lights on. We’re already caught midst a confrontational conversation with two lovers in a motel room. The tense moment resolves into an ongoing conflict with the central characters May and Eddie, played by Lucy Bailie and Joe Windsor respectively. Their relationship is dipped in and out of with the use of flashbacks and storytelling and really stirs something within, bordering on the uncomfortable. 

Written by Sam Shepard this black comedy really shouldn’t be missed. The author sadly passed away last year and is a massive shame as his work is quite intellectual. His comedy is en pointe and the ongoing mystery really hooks you on the edge of your seat; as usual brought wonderfully to life to the actors on stage. 

As the feuding couple Windsor and Bailie have a spectacular chemistry on stage. The relationship they have is brought to life with a depth only friends who have known each other for years have. At times Lucy’s high energy and frustration lost the southern American accent but it didn’t detract too much and was countered by the consistency of humour and energy being delivered by Joee. Brian Volkes playing The Old Man is a calming anchor to the frantic energy the piece delivers as a nice juxtaposition to the couple on stage. David Thackary as Martin (May’s date for the evening) is slightly off in this piece as his physical
comedy doesn’t merge with the others. 

Fantastically directed by Daisy Milner for the Courtyard Theatre. Minimalist and full of humour this is a play that shouldn’t be missed. 

Although this play finishes on the 10th of February you should keep an eye out for anything else that goes on at the courtyard. 

Review by Samuel Clemens

Rating: ★★★★

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