Games for Lovers at The Vaults

Games for Lovers is a new comedy that tells of 4 people, Logan, Martha, Jenny and Darren. All 4 of them are trying in their own way to negotiate modern relationships and get caught up in lies, seduction and party games.

The show begins in a random manner, in what seems like a series of monologues, flitting from one actor to another. It creates a game show vibe with a theme tune and a large, colourful building block style set. It gradually becomes clear that each of them are paying a part and that all of the characters on stage are linked to each other in some way. The show took a while to get into the flow and it wasn’t until the second act that the pace really took off however the development of the story was cleverly revealed.

Photos Geraint Lewis

The show however does lack any real substance and the age old stories of if men and women can ever be just friends and hopeless in love woman ends up with men fighting over her are regurgitated. Whilst the story line is nothing new it is still treated with humour and warmth. The show also felt dated, there were passing references to Tinder but no real examination of relationships in the modern age, something that could have really worked with the game show style set up.

The cast were on top form. Billy Postlethwaite plays Darren, a wannabe Lothario who has studied the psychology of the chat up and relationships. His character is larger than life and the type of man you would want to avoid in a bar but as the play progresses it becomes clear that there is a lot more to him. Postlethwaite strikes this balance well and provides a cringe-worthy yet likeable character. Evanna Lynch plays Martha and portrays her as vulnerable and lovable even if ever so slightly clueless in love.

Tessie Orange-Turner plays Jenny, Logan’s girlfriend. She is able to flit between the comedic to the jealous instantly and still make you see why Logan fell for her. Logan is played by Calum Callaghan and is the nice guy, the best friend with whom Martha has the constant will they/won’t they battle. He is a difficult character to empathise with and possibly the most under-developed of the 3 however this is no fault of the actor and more of the script.

Games For Lovers is like a one night stand, fun for the night but with no real substance.

Games for Lovers is playing at The Vaults until 25th August. To book tickets visit the Vaults website.

If you like the review of Games for Lovers you might also like my review of Bare, Fiver and Six.

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