I (Honestly) Love You

I (Honestly) Love You
Written and directed by Damon Lockwood. Lockwood Productions. Melbourne International Comedy Festival, National Theatre, 20 Carlisle Street, St Kilda, 13 -16 April 2016.

Our often foolish behaviour when we are in love provides ample comic material for this play. Lockwood has added a further element to this age-old topic by making the two protagonists compulsive truth tellers, and their brutal honesty frequently spells disaster for romance.

The ensuing embarrassing episodes provide some extremely funny scenarios. This is a novel idea with some innovative reflexive techniques. The production relies upon some very simple and rudimentary staging but this is used effectively to drive home its underlying themes and the humour of the play where the value of truth is constantly put into question.

Jimmy James Eaton is a natural comic talent and his ability to employ his entire body for comic effect is sustained throughout the show. His deadpan and blank expressions to the audience are often simply enough to make you laugh. His performance style is perfectly suited to the humiliations his character endures in both intimate and public situations and guarantees a good laugh.

The introduction of additional characters, performed by the same actors, interaction with the audience and simultaneous scenes with identical dialogue are cleverly managed and staged. Talei Howell-Price and Damon Lockwood make some astonishing transformations and George Gaylor creates a warm and endearing persona. These approaches and performance styles give a very fresh and entertaining quality to this production, and to the notion of romance.

Patricia Di Risio

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