We’ve Got Each Other
Gina and Tommy are quite the ordinary pair. She is a Spanish waitress, he, an American docker. The star-crossed duo meet each other whilst going about their day-to-day lives at a bustling Manhattan diner, when Cupid’s arrow strikes – except, things are not quite as they seem. Here is the catch: Gina and Tommy are not in fact real. They do not exist. The lovers are simply the figment of their creator’s (Paul O’Donnell) imagination, used as plot devices to make bold statements about the commodification of art and the need, in today’s age, to unravel art’s unhealthy entanglement with capitalism.
From the onset, O’Donnell, who singlehandedly and magnificently carries the entire weight of this revolutionary show on his shoulders – from narration to performance – clarifies that We’ve Got Each Other is the economised version of the modern West End jukebox musical. His inability to hire opulent sets and an ensemble cast of actors means that he will have to execute these parts himself, with the help of his audience, of course, who he invites to “fill in the gaps”. The result is a completely immersive experience whereby O’Donnell’s spectators become active participants in Gina and Tommy’s story, singing along to Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On a Prayer with “them”, as well as helping the theatre-maker, through a string of vocalisations, to direct his tale to its climactic end.
The plotline, a stylised cross between Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story, does not fall short of coincidence, if anything, in line with O’Donnell’s schema; similarly to how racial and ethnic prejudice prevent Shakespeare’s and Arthur Laurents’s protagonists from safeguarding their relationships in the public sphere, so too does capitalism’s partiality thwart O’Donnell from staging his minimalistic show in a commercial habitat that is the West End. Nevertheless, the piece delivers to a very high calibre and proves that with an authentic premise and a lot of soul, the spectacle is just as capable at triggering the right emotional response, with or without grandeur.
Photo: Alex Brenner
We’ve Got Each Other is at the Crescent from 6th until 10th February 2019. For further information or to book visit the show’s festival page here.
Read more reviews from our Vault Festival 2019 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Vault Festival website here.
Watch the trailer for We’ve Got Each Other here: