We are all guilty of eavesdropping on other people’s conversations on the 34 bus, in Hallward and in the toilets of Ocean. Serenade gives you the chance for a guilt free, but no less cringe worthy, eavesdropping experience.

People watching is my favourite pastime and don’t deny it, I bet you are as guilty as me for being nosy about a stranger’s private business. Matt Wilks and Tom Barnes’ recent venture into the theatre industry with their new theatre company, 2Magpies Theatre, which specialises in sight responsive theatre, offers the perfect voyeuristic evening at a gorgeous Turkish restaurant, Antalya, opposite the Corner House.

The décor of the upstairs restaurant is inspired by the Eastern food and the soft lighting from the candles and pretty lamps made the setting a very intimate affair. As we tucked into our delicious starters of calamari and falafel, a couple, James Pardon and Ginny Lee, walked in late, speaking very loudly so that we all began to listen to their conversation. At first, I found it really awkward but eventually the transition between eating your dinner and then watching a play came very naturally.

James and Ginny were playing versions of themselves. Set in the none too distant future of struggling to find a well paid fulfilling job, settling down, getting married and, in the case of James and Ginny, getting a dog!  James’ anecdotes reeked of tales from many a gap yah. Ginny was sweet and lovely, commenting on the quirks of the very intimate audience – just as every audience member was doing only five minutes before.

Their arguments were arguments I’ve heard thousands of times before, albeit different versions in different restaurants. They had the awful tendency, as couples do, to kiss across the table, but I will forgive them because of their comical stories about their family and friends. The chemistry between the pair was undeniably realistic and believable and together they were fiery and hilarious.

Whilst I was certainly entertained, I’m not sure I was ‘serenaded’. Perhaps if this was to tour to restaurants and coffee shops around the country, which it could and should, a change of title would be appropriate. This performance worked though. It was short and sweet; Ginny and James had us all engrossed in their relationship and left us wanting more. I wanted to see them in the greasy spoon having breakfast the next day to find out what happened after the explosive end to the performance. Watch this space for 2Magpies Theatre; I am expecting great things.

Hannah Rought

Serenade @ Antalya has SOLD OUT completely for this run. For more information about the production go to:  https://www.facebook.com/events/221390941338920/?fref=ts 

For 2Magpies Theatre:  http://www.2magpiestheatre.co.uk/

 

 

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