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LOVE 2.0

Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh
Three stars

Whether intentional or not, playing former Jimmy Savile's Old Record Club favourite, Young Girl, by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, in the build up to the start of Andy McGregor's production of his own new play for the Sleeping Warrior Theatre Company gives what follows a creepier edge than the play's title suggests. Here, after all, is a full-on twenty-first century romance, in which teenage dreamers Suzie and Gary hook up, not at the youth club disco, but through Facebook, that all pervasive global village where cyber-stalking can lead to all kinds of trouble.

Where Suzie's posts gush about sentimental TV shows and the delights of Simply Red, Gary quotes Kerouac, puts up seriously arty selfies and claims to dig Beethoven. The trouble is, in an online world where you can be anyone you want to be, it's hard to spot who's faking it unless 'friends' meet in the flesh. Which, following an excess of likes, 'lols' and pokes is where the trouble really starts.

The trick here in replicating the highs and lows of virtual flirting, sexting, instant messaging and other social networking staples is to actually get physical. So post-it notes and big foam hands illustrate the merry dance Suzie and Gary embark on, while a Skype call is done by way of that old-school kids comic favourite of a couple of tin cans joined together with string.

Produced in an association with the Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, all this is conveyed with increasingly manic brio by Lucy Goldie and Samuel Keefe in a refreshingly cynical comic dissection of virtual courting worth logging on to throughout its extensive tour.
 
The Herald, February 2nd 2015
 

ends


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