My Romantic History review at Live Theatre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne – ‘brilliantly funny’
DC Jackson’s 2010 comedy My Romantic History takes a refreshingly honest and hilarious look at the modern dating world and examines how the idealisation of first loves can ruin future relationships.
Tom and Amy are 30-something singletons who fall into an ill-considered office romance after a drunken one-night stand. In a series of quick fire scenes, we see their relationship from Tom’s perspective as he addresses the audience directly, delivering a caustically funny and sweary commentary on his failed attempts to give Amy the brush off. However, in ActII the tables are turned when Amy gives her contrasting side of view of events, providing a rich source of comedy.
As well as shifting perspectives, the play also switches between present day and the past as Tom and Amy relive their first serious relationships, which serves to illuminate their self-destructive behaviour.
Max Roberts’ production has been relocated to Newcastle for this revival. It moves at a cracking pace and fizzes with energy. This is in partly thanks to the onset projections of Ben Holland’s drawings of Newcastle locations, which negates the need for any clunky set changes. It’s also due to the precision comic timing of Brian Lonsdale as everyman Tom and Bryony Corrigan as lonely soul Amy.
Amy McAllister is also excellent, switching effortlessly between her multiple roles including their remorselessly cheerful work colleague Sasha and their various ex-lovers.
Although My Romantic History is now almost a decade old, it feels fresh and vibrant, offering a great antidote to schmaltzy Hollywood romantic comedies.