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Fringe review: Do opposites attract in Lobster, Theatre503

The gold, helium-filled, party balloon letters at the back of the stage spell out 'Happy Fucking Whatever' which forms an appropriate back drop to this relationship comedy drama in which J (Alexandra Reynolds) seems to represent the 'Happy' part and K (Louise Beresford) the 'Whatever'.

They bump into each other at a party several months after they have split up which becomes the starting point for a journey looking at how they met, fell in love and fell out of it again.

Lobster - Ali Wright-9
L-R Louise Beresford and Alexandra Reynolds in Lobster. Photo Ali Wright

J is one of those naturally happy people. Always cheerful, excited, agreeable and eager to please. She is also traditional wants to get married and have a family.

K has a dry wit and can be sarcastic to the point of coming across like she doesn't care. She's doesn't really know what she wants.

As they recall the details of their first date, they correct and contradict each other. It is charming, and amusing - snappily written and performed - but also perhaps an early sign of how their differences might actually shape their relationship.

At first the light and dark in their personalities complement and it is what they love about each other but life, dreams and experience start to mould things differently.

Lucy Foster's play isn't just a funny drama about the quirks of love and being a couple, it is also a keenly observed look at the complexity of relationships made more so by the complexity of human nature.

How much should you compromise, how much should you sacrifice, how much should you try and change and how do you grow together rather than apart once the initial honeymoon period is over?

Performed with vigour and sensitivity, well-paced with some nice quirky touches, Lobster is an emotional journey of fun, warmth and sadness. It is also an interesting and entertaining life and relationship study.

It's 90 minutes long without an interval and I'm giving it four stars. See it at Theatre503 in Battersea until January 20.

Related posts:

Interview with Lobster playwright Lucy Foster

My best of theatre for 2017

My 5 biggest theatre disappointments of 2017