Love N Stuff @ The Theatre Royal Stratford East – A Review

review love stuff theatre royal stratford eastShowing at the Theatre Royal Stratford East for a few more days, current production Love N Stuff takes a wry look at a midlife crisis as it plays out in a London airport lounge…

Set on a stark white stage with the theatre reconfigured into  a small ‘studio’ format (both actors and audience are behind the ‘iron’ or stage curtain),  Rina Fatania, who is  a regular visitor to the stage at Stratford, plays wife Bindi, while Tony Jayawardena plays husband Mansoor.  After 35 years of marriage, Mansoor is getting restless – will he stay and face his responsibilities at home in Stratford, or escape to India?

While the couple wrestle with their disagreements in the departure lounge they are aided and abetted by a whole host of supporting characters, but no-one else steps onto the stage… It’s a tribute to these two actors that with the simple addition of a reversed baseball cap or a regional accent they can take on upwards of twenty other roles – it’s a remarkable feat. When the dialogue runs the risk of getting a little bit long-winded the play’s writer Tanika Gupta also has another trick up her sleeve – the disco lights start to flash, the actors strike a pose and suddenly the audience finds itself in the middle of a Bollywood-inspired dance number!

Love N Stuff is a rich and colourful piece of theatre, and the interplay between husband and wife is as honest as it is amusing. It’s up there as one of the best performances that I’ve seen all year – highly recommended!

There are a few more performances of Love N Stuff if you want to check it out – it s playing at 8pm tonight, Friday and Saturday with tickets priced between £8 and £15.