All Aboard the Marriage Hearse at the Guilded BalloonCultureTheatreEd Fringe
A man afraid of complete and utter commitment. A woman pushing for marriage after being a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding. Although we might yawn at a clear cliché, All Aboard the Marriage Hearse succeeds in it’s comic portrayal of a rowing couple at a crossroads of their life together.
It is grimly predictable that the woman should be the one to yearn after marriage: “weddings are like porn for women” is a saying that adds to the stereotype of the situation, and despite the media-relatable gender roles one cannot help but feel it would have been more interesting to reverse the attitudes of the man and woman. For a play that uses the famous Wilde quote “the very essence of romance is uncertainty”, these hackneyed characters seem entirely certain.
This is not to say that the show doesn’t have its clear perks. The idea that marriage is meaningless, that it can in fact be undone just like a relationship with a combination of time and money is topical, now that so many marriages are dissolving, and the script is convincing in its argument. The acting is superb, and the onstage chemistry between Jessica Moreno and Tom Pilutik is undeniable, often causing the viewer to forget they are at the theatre and feel instead like a fly on a wall in the sitting room of quarrelling parents or friends. Privately intimate, it is not comfortable sometimes to be in the vicinity of these characters – which, no doubt, is the aim.
Despite the clichéd gender roles that could have been made more diverse in a modern world, All Aboard the Marriage Hearse is a thought-provoking and enjoyable hour and ten minutes that is worth the time spent.
All Aboard the Marriage Hearse is at the Guilded Balloon from 3rd August until 28th August 2016, for further information or to book visit here.