Do you want to know a secret? Well.. it’s not much of a secret I suppose. But one of my guilty pleasures is Rom-Com books and occasionally Rom-Com films.
I love how they can feel realistic but also completely not. They are set mostly in the lives of (albeit theatrical) “real” people and while they make me sad that my life isn’t a Rom-Com, i’ve got to say, I enjoy it.
Thinking back – I don’t think I’ve ever really seen a Rom-Com on stage before. Yes, there have been romances but nothing so quintessentially British. So, Love Dance, was the perfect show to break into this performance genre.
Love Dance features a typical meet-cute story. A Doctor, leases her flat out to a tenant during her time away from work. Only to come home and find that he is still there, stubbornly refuses, as they disagree on the Month to Date format on the contract. After a period of time, they grow closer and closer, talking about marriage and children and how the Doctor wishes to have a child but not a relationship. Their love grows and the rest is history.
Derek Murphy and Jacoba Williams have the perfect chemistry. It genuinely feels as if the wall of the flat has been taken away and we are peaking into real life. They bounce of one another effortlessly and somehow, they have that gives-you-butterflies feeling when they look at each other.
They exhibit the typical characters you see in a Rom-Com – Murphy plays the funny, teasing but ultimately mysterious Musician and Williams is a strong, independent but bossy Doctor with her whole life ahead of her – she’s put aside her dating life and want for a baby for her career. As typical of a Rom-Com – you think these characters are just so different, but as you peel away the layers, you discover more and more, and actually how perfect they are. And we of course have events that you cannot imagine ever happening in real life, but what makes such a story unique to all the others.
We laugh, we feel sad, we feel happy – all the emotional ups and downs of this genre. And it was complete perfection on its execution – no errors, no awkwardness, just flawless.
My ONLY quibble is that there is a point when Murphy’s character has this bad cough – we see Williams’s character check him out and her face shows her concern. As the play continues, there is mention to it but we never really understand or hear the conclusion, of why it is cured and it felt a little bit of an idea that was added and never came to fruition. It didn’t take anything away from the story, but nor did it add anything.
Love Dance warms your heart. It makes you feel those romantic butterflies. And sometimes makes you feel sad about your own love life. The perfect Rom-Com on stage.