Mollie Semple’s debut play about life as a lonely singleton is told with endearing comedy and charm – ★★★★
Can an audience get much enjoyment out of someone else’s self-pity? A 60-minute autobiographical production on isolation could very well have struck a defeatist tone, but this is one told with wit, creativity and comic timing. In Loneliness and Other Adventures, Mollie’s solitude becomes our own.
She sits on the floor, watching, as one enters the small theatre above the Drayton Arms Pub in Kensington. With warm yellow and purple lighting and no walk-on for the actress, we’re immediately welcomed into her artisan living space. There’s no need for an icebreaker, but if all else fails, the handout of a brew or a dildo should do the trick.
It’s also hard not to identify your experiences in Semple’s series of poetic monologues. Accompanied by indie tracks and smooth choreography courtesy of director Sophie Leydon, Mollie candidly navigates topics such as the fear of dying alone, Tinder matches and sex. There are many opportunities to feel a sense of similarity or companionship in the intimate and honest story of the protagonist, as experiences all too relatable to our own love lives. We transpose our lives onto Mollie’s, and find ourselves wanting the same answers that she seeks.
As an audience, simple point provides a particular sense of comfort and closure as the play reaches its conclusion: that in our flawed experiences of single life and romance, we are simply not alone.
Loneliness and Other Adventures is now playing at The Drayton Arms Theatre until 6 July.
Production Images: Leigh Spence.
Disclaimer: I was invited to watch Loneliness and Other Adventures for free in exchange for a review of the performance as a member of the press. I did not receive payment for this review and all opinions stated are honest and my own.