2 Become 1 continues at the King’s Head Theatre, London until 29 April.
Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
It’s the 1990s, when playing snake on your Nokia mobile phone was a form of entertainment and there was (wait for it) no Twitter. No wonder at the start of Swipe Right Theatre’s 2 Become 1, Jess is crying on centrestage, singing ‘Never Ever’ by All Saints down the receiver of a big red telephone.
It is in fact, due to a break up with her boyfriend, which actress Natasha Granger portrays perfectly. Everyone can relate to that feeling of the world crashing down on you, but this time it is without the added the added temptation and torment of social media or smartphones!
We are then introduced to Jess’ three female best friends, who arrive to cheer her up, and – you guessed it – all have very differing personalities.
There is the hopeless romantic Amanda (Jessica Brady), feisty self-confessed sex addict Charlie (Eliza Hewitt-Jones) and the quirky and very scatty Molly (Kerrie Thomason). The four friends, resembling a 1990s girl band, decide to go speed dating to lift the mood – what could go wrong?
With sparse staging, all four actresses really show off their impressive comedic skills, as they sit in a line, facing the audience, talking to their speed dates and not making a very good impression, with a delicious awkwardness ensuing.
The four adorably clueless friends hold their own with very funny and sharply delivered one-liners.
Writers Natasha Granger and Kerrie Thomason have incorporated classic 1990s pop anthems, such as TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’ and Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’, into their very witty and often laugh-out-loud funny script.
The camaraderie of the four friends really radiates and feels genuine via these clever music choices, with Thomason’s impressive vocals shining through. With some very amusing deliberate audience interaction taking place during some of the crowd-pleasing numbers, this show has tapped into what works with a new musical.
2 Become 1 is a stellar example of how a 1990s pop musical should be constructed, and for those who remember the era it’s a rather wonderful trip down memory lane.
The music choices are absolutely spot on, and while serious moments are fleeting they are perfectly timed and delivered.
Swipe Right Theatre has delivered a show I really, really, want to see again!