I walk/drive past the Hampstead theatre on an almost daily basis but I’ve somehow never had the opportunity to go. So when my dad suggested we go see a play/musical on Friday, I suggested we see what’s showing at The Hampstead theatre. As luck would have it, there was a show on called Hello/Goodbye by Peter Souter. I knew nothing about it but the poster looked good and the story sounded interesting.
The Hampstead theatre was a lot smaller than I imagined it’d be and very basic in it’s decor. If you’re used to the sights and sounds of West End productions, you may be slightly disappointed. But we had pretty good seats so I can’t complain about the view.
The play has 2 acts. Act 1 is the first hour of the relationship between Juliet (Miranda Raison) and Alex (Shaun Evans) and act 2 is the last hour of the relationship between them. The play starts with Juliet – sassy, self-centered, sexy (and she knows it) moving into a new apartment where she finds Alex doing the same thing. Turns out her estate agent screwed up and it’s actually his apartment. Alex is everything Juliet is not – introverted, awkward and the collector of some very odd items (every McDonalds happy meal toy). What they do have in common are witty comebacks and that’s what keeps the first act going: it’s the witty, funny and very sarcastic banter between the two.
In act 2 the writer has fast forwarded 10 years…Juliet and Alex are getting divorced and the last hour is spent sorting through their personal items. Although I enjoyed the second act, it was emotional and pulled at my heart strings, the ending was a bit of a cliché. Saying that, I don’t think it took away from the great acting and the chemistry between Miranda Raison and Shaun Evans.
Having had a nosey online this evening, I’m glad I didn’t read any of the online reviews in advance or I probably wouldn’t have gone to see it. It’s not the best play I’ve seen but if you want a funny, light hearted rom com then go see this one.
It’s on until the 28th of February at the Hampstead Theatre in Swiss Cottage.