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Home arrow Archive: EdFringe 2013 arrow Happy Never After
Happy Never After
Published on Sunday, 11 August 2013

4 stars

Pleasance Courtyard (venue website)
31 Jul, 1-6, 8-13, 15-26 Aug, 12:40pm-1:40pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Recommended for age 14+ only.

This is an adorable show, written by Hannah Roger, and starring Alice White and Nick Blakeley as Jen and Neil – a young couple in love. We begin as they move into their first home together, and follow them for a few months of complications as things run far from smooth.

Jen and Neil really just want to have fun and enjoy being together; but darkness is coming, and when events take a frightening turn they have to make tough decisions. The cast are bubbly and likeable, maintaining infectious energy as they reshape the set, sing, dance and play. All of this makes it heartbreaking when things get tricky. It’s impossible not to want them to be okay – to find a way to stick together.

The attention-grabbing, multi-purpose utilitarian set is adorable, with an attention to detail that means even the pencils are spot-on perfectly in tune with the design theme. These basic props underline how much our protagonists could be any young, urban couple, setting up home.

The show’s confident script lets Jen and Neil’s personalities shine, really convincing us that they are crazy about each other before putting that love to the toughest of tests. But some of the storytelling is overly episodic, and the ending feels unsatisfying and abrupt. This is a slice of life, sure, but a lot is left hanging when the piece ends – even for a story about how settling down with your one true love isn’t the end of anyone’s story.

Overall though, this a sweet, smart examination of what life is like for a young couple after they’ve managed to find each other. Because that’s when the real challenges begin.

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