|"The Many faces of Love"|
by Aline Waites for remotegoat on 10/09/12
This is the first play of the 2012/13 season from 'Paradigm' - a brand new company which has only been in operation since January this year. The production follows the romantic adventures of a group of six people who are - or become - interrelated in various different ways. These amorous encounters are shown to us in a series of short scenes - mostly duologues - between the various protagonists all of whom have a common link - Scooter.
Scooter is a computer nerd working in an office alongside Stephanie, a tarty looking receptionist who has theatrical ambitions, and Darren the boss of the organisation. Scooter is having sleep problems and is consulting a psychologist, a beautiful divorcee, Jessica, with whom he has fallen in love. He also has a friend Zoey - an American PhD student who does baby sitting for Jessica's five year old daughter. To complete the circle is Scooter's Mum who has a very definite problem - her husband, Scooter's Dad has Alzheimer's and she has to care for him. She deeply loves him but as she says 'I don't know where he is'
Stephanie is in love with her boss Darren with whom she has had an affair, but is now getting on his nerves. Jessica is still in love with her husband and has occasional sexual relations with him. Darren is bereft of the company of his little daughter,
So the various plots unfold gradually and the script is penned with great expertise by Sarah E. Pitard
Director Cat Robey has directed the play and is a positive genius at casting as each actor is completely believable as the character they are playing - who despite their problems, manage to inject a great deal of comedy into their performances. Jonathon West is the seriously neurotic Scooter and convincingly expresses his comic and yet pitiable awkwardness in dealing with other people and with his life in general. He is totally real and never for one moment oversteps the mark. His mother is played by veteran actress Gilly Daniels who gives an accurate and very funny portrayal of the harassed and lonely woman thrust into the situation of carer without anyone around to lighten the burden.
Phoebe Batteson-Brown is a cute but pathetic little Essex girl in enormous heels and mini skirts and hopelessly in love with her boss and Mark Arnold is an attractive, philandering object of her affections who has got himself into an awkward situation having already gone through two divorces. Cheska Moon is coolly intelligent as Jessica , the abandoned wife who lives life for her daughter and her profession as psychologist and Lee Lytle is very attractive as the American student.
The characters intermingle as the play progresses and it is fascinating to see how they cope when confronted with each other.
A great start to the Paradigm season!
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