The Cheeky Guide to Love

First love, blind dates, matrimony, infidelity, breaking up, internet dating, mail order brides, billets doux and romantic poems are all clubbed affectionately over the head.
OFS Studio, Fri January 22nd 2010

February 12, 2010
It is difficult to decide what I really thought about The Cheeky Guide to Love, which opened at the Old Fire Station last night. I feel strangely ambivalent about it; some parts of it were quite funny (in that they raised a smile, rather than laugh out loud) whereas others just didn’t seem to have any impact on me. I wouldn’t be able to pick out a best bit or a worst bit as I don’t recall there having been any, it is as though I forgot most of it the second I left the building.

The Cheeky Guide comprises four actors, two male, two female in something akin to a sketch show scenario – it reminded me a lot of the Horrible Histories series made for children, where a couple of people would be dressed in togas and the narrator stood to the side and explained what they were doing. These guys started with cave dwellers, followed by ancient Greeks, Romans, Victorians and so on and so forth until they reached the present, then they moved on to quick sketches about communication issues (men being from Mars, women from Venus – all the usual stuff); marriage guidance; teenage angst; bad first dates et al.

One problem with comedy, I suppose, is that what makes people laugh is such an inexact science and maybe we are often driven along by the momentum of the rest of the audience; no one wants to be the only person who doesn’t get the joke. However, that in itself was a problem last night, as there barely was an audience, only four or five rows had people sitting on them – and they were not full rows. Had the theatre been packed, as it usually is in the Old Fire Station, then I might have felt very differently about it. I hope they get a bigger audience tonight and with it being Valentine’s weekend, they might do.
Ever wondered how to make a love potion?

Then you should head to the OFS on Thursday 11th February, where The Cheeky Guide To Love will tell you all about that, and everything else they can think of to do with all things amorous. They aim to tackle "first love, blind dates, matrimony, infidelity, breaking up, internet dating, mail order brides, billets doux and romantic poems", clubbing them over the head like "a love-struck Neanderthal".

Four faces, well-known from Comedy circuits, radio and TV will guide you through this tricky topic, just in time for Valentine's day. Your Cheeky Guides will be
JOANNA NEARY
(BBC2’s Ideal and That Mitchell and Webb Look and C4’s Skins; Perrier Newcomer Nominee 2004)
BETH FITZGERALD
(Winner: Brighton Festival Best Actress 2008, Herald Angel 2007 and Stage Actress of The Year 1996)
DAVE MOUNFIELD
(Radio 4’s Count Arthur Strong’s Radio Show)
& BRIAN MITCHELL
(BBC4’s The Ornate Johnsons’ Edwardian Spectacular)

There'll be something to make you laugh, and something to make you cringe too. And if you want to get those moments of shame and embarrassment off your chest, you can share them with resident Agony uncle, Auntie Dave - in front of the whole audience.

In amongst the hilarious whirlwind, look out for these gems:
• The Bride of Frankenstein and the Monster's trip to Marriage Guidance
• What truly candid Marriage vows would sound like
• The world's shortest Speed Date
• Thirty Second Theatre's radically condensed versions of Brief Encounter and Titanic

So, in short, it'll be ideal if you want a special date for that special someone, or if you eschew all that goo. They'll even tell you how to write a lonely hearts ad without sounding like a psycho...
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