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I Love You Will U Marry Me review at Moor Theatre Delicatessen, Sheffield – ‘poignant’

The cast of I Love U Will You Marry Me at Moor Theatre Delicatessen, Sheffield. Photo: Joseph Priestley.
The cast of I Love U Will You Marry Me at Moor Theatre Delicatessen, Sheffield. Photo: Joseph Priestley
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Sheffield's Sad Siren makes theatre from memories. Its last production, The Gods Of Pick N Mix, was an elegy to lost things and childhood set in the city's former Woolworths store. Its new show, I Love You Will U Marry Me, has a broader reach. It examines the power of those objects that people keep for years, but never use or even look at. Named after an iconic scrawl of graffiti on Sheffield's Park Hill estate, it's an intriguing slice of verbatim theatre, with the odd song and dance routine thrown in.

The cast, Andy Owen Cook, Soraya Jane Nabipour and Lauren Stone, take it in turns to don headphones and read stories from local people about objects such as a novelty egg holder, a pair of baby shoes and a teddy bear from the 1920s. Some of these stories are funny (Stone, in particular, has a delightfully deadpan style of delivery and superb timing), while some are more poignant. The stories are linked together by a narrative about a couple going to see a reformed band, so some recollections are told in the form of songs (played by Cook in an endearingly ramshackle way).

After a while, you start to journey into your own memories, to recall those discarded objects of your own. And as those ghosts start to come alive, you begin to realise that everything, from an old pair of NHS spectacles to a piece of romantic graffiti, has a story behind it. Though only an hour long, this production stirs up a lot of emotion.

Verdict
Poignant slice of verbatim theatre exploring the relationship between objects and memories
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