The story spans 44 years in three dollops with three fashion-conscious sets and a lot of swearing. En route, we get to meet their children, Jamie (14) and Rosie (16) in a nice house in Reading in 1990, and finally we see how it's all working out for all four of them in 2011.
Lisa Jackson (Sandra) does a terrific mini-skirted flighty dolly bird in the first part, espousing all the clichés we have learned to expect in plays set in the 60’s. She’s refreshingly very different from her Maths Lecturer character in Campus, which you can check out on 4OD. The kids are alright, with James Barrett accurately catching the severe growing pains of Jamie, and Rosie Wyatt absolutely convincing as the troubled violinist Rose. Ben Addis (Ken) and Simon Darwen (Henry) are very good, too. Addis gets the smug retiree just right.
Love x3 was written by Mike Bartlett, a local Olivier Award winning playwright, who says in the programme that the play ‘doesn’t have a message’, adding that he hopes the audience have a ‘funny and provocative night out’. The play is amusing rather than funny, but it did provoke a lot of interesting discussion, not least amongst the boomers in the bar. Perhaps they felt uncomfortable with some of Bartlett’s well-researched and perceptive observations. Actually, that’s a benefit of having two intervals: we can find out what we think over a glass of the white, which on reflection sounds just like Ken and Sandra.
Members of the post-boomer generation might like to know that the performance on Wed 8th June is free to 16-25s.