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I Heart Peterborough
Published on Saturday, 25 August 2012
4

4 stars

Pleasance Courtyard (venue website)
Theatre
1-6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-27 Aug, 5:35pm-6:45pm
Reviewed by Alice de Cent

 Recommended for age 14+ only.

I Heart Peterborough follows Lulu – from a troubled past, struggling to be accepted as a gay teenager, and through the challenge of meeting and raising his son Hew after his mother is killed in an accident. The play sees them form an unlikely bond through cabaret, and explores the complexities of their relationship as Hew grows up.

Milo Twomey plays a conflicted and honest Lulu, struggling to be accepted and searching for love in a town that frowns on what it terms strange. Jay Taylor gives an intelligent and subtle performance as Hew, expertly moving between playing the keyboard and portraying a variety of supporting characters through different vocalizations.

Joel Horwood’s script is intelligent and inventive, the language often hitting the ears with its precise descriptions. It cleverly weaves the stories of Lulu and Hew, as they become ever-tighter bound together even as they grow apart. Also directing the show, Horwood has kept the characters’ relationship at the heart of the story with simple staging and the intrinsic use of music throughout.

If the play has a flaw, it’s that while it evokes a definite impression of the city, the heart of the story centres on the relationship between the two main characters – which feels less rooted in its particular surroundings, and able to be replanted elsewhere, leaving the title rather confusing and unexplained.

With an accomplished script that exposes the simple nature of a complicated relationship, I Heart Peterborough is a touching and challenging story of two people and their search for acceptance against a harsh backdrop of an unforgiving world, that cannot fail to catch the attention and stir the emotions of the audience.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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