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Credit: Ali Wright

Lobster, Theatre 503 – Review

Pros: Very entertaining comedy with excellent performances from Louise Beresford and Alexandra Reynolds.

Cons: Could have further developed the theme of issues faced by women and lesbian couples in today’s Britain.

Pros: Very entertaining comedy with excellent performances from Louise Beresford and Alexandra Reynolds. Cons: Could have further developed the theme of issues faced by women and lesbian couples in today’s Britain. The world is your oyster, or so they say. For J (Alexandra Reynolds) and K (Louise Beresford) though, the world is more like a lobster: hard on the outside but with soft bits on the inside too. After breaking up, J and K bump into each other at a friend’s party. From there starts a bittersweet recollection of their year long relationship, full of tenderness and love but also of resentment and…

Summary

Rating

Good

A great debut from Snapper Theatre, with a feminist agenda that could definitely be explored in greater depth.

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The world is your oyster, or so they say. For J (Alexandra Reynolds) and K (Louise Beresford) though, the world is more like a lobster: hard on the outside but with soft bits on the inside too. After breaking up, J and K bump into each other at a friend’s party. From there starts a bittersweet recollection of their year long relationship, full of tenderness and love but also of resentment and pain. Like a ticking bomb about to explode, J and K’s completely opposite characters and views on life  make the relationship seemed doomed to fail from the outset. Where J is a happy-go-lucky, easygoing person with a clear idea of what she wants in life (marriage, children, stability), K is independent and career-focused, lives in a semi-permanent state of nervous breakdown and behind her cynicism nurtures some self-destructive frustration and insecurity.

Snapper Theatre’s debut with Lobster is certainly a very bright and promising one. Their manifesto promises to focus on “sharing stories that are not often told – and finding new ways of telling them.” Here, this means showing the relationship of a lesbian couple, because despite the slow, tenacious efforts to introduce gay and transsexual characters and themes on stage, male gay relationships still tend to dominate (Angels in America, Strangers in Between…).

In one of the most powerful conversations of the show, J is tries to convince K of the joys of marriage and how, as a gay couple, marriage is a privilege that they’ve been given. An outraged K replies that it is not a “privilege” but just the possibility of making the same choice that a straight couple would always have had. It’s hard not to agree with K, and yet it’s frustrating that the topic isn’t explored any further.

While Snapper Theatre succeeds with Lobster in sharing a rarely told story, it is less clear that they tell it in a new way, and in the end the play feels like any other romantic breakup comedy. It is well written, with fluid dialogue, plenty of good jokes and witty references that will make Londoners (and indeed non-Londoners!) laugh. That aside, however, it does little to delve into specific feminist or LGBTQ issues.

Author: Lucy Foster
Director: Kayla Feldman
Producer: Julia Mucko
Box Office: 020 7978 7040
Booking Link: https://theatre503.com/whats-on/lobster/?spektrix_bounce=true
Booking Until: 20 January

About Cristina Lago