I Heart Peterborough at the Soho Theatre
It’s hard to express just how good Joel Horwood’s writing is in this piece. Part play, part cabaret act, it is a simple, makeshift, captivating piece of theatre; an hour or so of fast and dynamic storytelling with vivid, rhythmic dialogue full of poetry.
Sharp use of dialect and social observation place the narrative so carefully in our time that it cannot fail to resonate deeply on some level with anyone who sees it.
The two central characters are beautifully crafted and equally beautifully delivered by Milo Twomey, who controls the flow of the story and niftily ad-libs, and Jay Taylor, whose performance is both utterly convincing and quite simply heart-breaking. There’s also a host of supporting cast like ghosts in the room, breathed into existence with just words and helping to illustrate the story of the lives of this unconventional family, a transvestite father and his troubled son brought up in the same town, and their despair in being different in the suburbs.
Yet their re-telling of adolescence, co-dependency and disappointment are echoing sensations – we are all just running up that hill, colliding clumsily with each other as we go, conventional or otherwise. It’s testament to the writing that we get to know and care about these two people so very quickly, and can enjoy this glimpsed time in their company.
Performed in the ideal venue of the rough-and-ready top floor studio of the Soho Theatre, this play will make you laugh and have you on the edge of tears. It’s sad, full of humanity and anguish, but warm and endearing with a massive heart. Highly recommended.
I Heart Peterborough is at the Soho Theatre now. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.