So there’s a braggadocio American called Pinko living in a bedsit in Lewisham, and he’s roped off part of the room to rent out to a mouse of a man called Bradley. We’d love to tell you more about the set-up but, for the first 10 minutes in the interests of realism, that episode of Family Guy where Peter gets obsessed with The Trashmen’s song Surfin’ Bird plays in the background and…we don’t know if it was just too loud, or there’s a weird acoustic effect where we were sitting, but all we could hear was “A-well-a, everybody’s heard about the bird”.
(Incidentally, if you search Google for “surfin bird lyrics”, the second suggestion is “surfin bird lyrics meaning”. Which strikes us as hilarious. But moving on.)
Back at the play, the TV is turned off and Pinko has brought home a Polish masseur, therapist and colonic irrigator called Ania. What follows is an hour of deftly sketched interpersonal relationships, loyalties rapidly and yet believably switching between the trio, punctuated by dollops of dry wit and Peter Griffin fighting that giant chicken. We’d like to see writer Stewart Permutt flesh the story out to something nearer two hours, and really let the characters bounce off each other. It’s a production we can imagine playing Upstairs at the Royal Court.
Love and Lust… isn’t playing in the alliterative Lewisham, or even in Camden Town despite being part of the Camden Fringe. Instead, head to Covent Garden and hope they’ve sorted out the sound.
Love and Lust in Lewisham runs until 17 August at the Tristan Bates Theatre, 1a Tower Street, WC2. Tickets £10 / £8. For more information and to book see the theatre website. We saw this performance on a complimentary press ticket.