London theatre: Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons review
Getting into London town to see a show is always one of our favourite things to do with the kids, but sometimes a play comes along that we just HAVE to see without them. In this case, Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons starring Aidan Turner (swoon) and Jenna Coleman (also swoon). We caught a front row performance last night, and here's what we thought.
What's it about?
Did you know that you’re going to speak more than 123 million words in your lifetime? But what if we were suddenly restricted to, let's say, 140 words a day? By law? Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons is a wonderfully insightful rom-com about what we say, how we say it, and what happens when we can’t say anything anymore. Starring Aidan Turner (Poldark, The Lieutenant of Inishmore) and Jenna Coleman (The Serpent, All My Sons), this bold and innovative play from Sam Steiner (Fingernails, You Stupid Darkness!) is directed by Josie Rourke (Mary Queen of Scots, As You Like It) and has a slightly dystopian yet always tender feel to it in a story that's essentially about a troubled couple and their struggle to connect on a forever basis.
What did we love?
Turner and Coleman were faultless in their portrayal of Oliver and Bernadette. The chemistry between them was spot on, and the raw emotion and heartwarming moments carried beautifully through the entire play. The script was clever and witty with some laugh out loud moments, and the fact that the costumes and stage set were so stripped back enabled the actors to bring their undeniable talent to the forefront. There was no hiding behind props or distractions, just a dazzling display of two of Britain's brightest stars at its best, and we loved it.
The plot itself - a kind of wannabe political satire mixed with a large dose of love - was interesting and compelling, and nothing like anything that we had seen before, which made it a refreshing change from our usual theatre repertoire.
Would we recommend it? Absolutely! Gather your friends or earmark it for a date night and book your tix, stat: it's a limited run so if you snooze you most definitely will lose out. This is not the kind of everyday play you'll find in the West End and is well worth watching, musing over and discussing over a glass of wine after its finished.
What did we not love so much?
While we loved the idea of the plot, we were left with a few questions as to WHY the characters - two intelligent, highly educated people - would have adhered to the 140 words a day rule in the first place. Who was policing their word usage? How were they counting their words? What would happen if they went over the 140 word limit? We never did find out the answers to this, nor why the law was brought about in the first place. We'll let it slide though because, on the whole, this was most definitely a gritty winner of a play.
For all the Aidan Turner and Jenna Coleman fans out there, if you buy a programme at the theatre (£6 each), and head to the stage door after the performance, the actors will come out and sign them for you. There's no time for selfies or the like but they will walk along the line and sign for all. Do note that they will only sign Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons material, so no Poldark paraphernalia, people.
All the deets
When: Now until 18th March 2023 Where: Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street, London SW1Y 4DN
Cost: From £25 per person
The show is also set to tour in Manchester (21 - 25 March 2023) and Brighton (28 March - 1 April 2023).