Love Plus is the story of two friends and an army of android girlfriends. It sounds comic, and there were laughs, but it's actually more subtle and sad than you'd think. It's also one of the finest plays I've seen in a long time.Freddie Popplewell and James Mooney gave warm, gentle, engaging performances as two friends who've obviously been close, though it's left unclear why their relationship ended. There's no bluster. Mooney in particular becomes quieter and more compelling the more intense his emotions. His character seems to be in some sort of trouble, but refuses to realise it or to let his friend help him. The play explores weighty issues - reality, perception and what it means to be human. It does it neatly and with such warmth we even care about the Love Plus girlfriends, who were beautifully choreographed, and not overpoweringly robotic.
Staging was great all round - scenery, and lighting were thoughtful, and a range of vocal effects to convey that something is wrong with the virtual reality. Best of all from my perspective: there was not a single prop! The high production values were all focused where they mattered most. Playwright Lamorna Ash and director Helena Jackson will be ones to watch.