This little-known musical comedy is utterly captivating from start to finish, performed flawlessly by its talented cast of four. A delightful gem you certainly don’t want to miss!

Credit: Tyler Whiting Photography

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is “the second longest-running off-Broadway musical in theatre history” and has been performed extensively worldwide and translated into seventeen different languages, with a few updates along the way. The theme of romance and relationships is endearing, and there are themes within this show that will resonate with anyone. 

There is no overall plot to the show, instead, it takes the form of a revue or montage of dozens of snapshots of different people on their quest for love. You spend mere minutes with each character as you peek into their dating life, their married life, or even their sex life, and yet each one is expertly fleshed-out and realised. Some characters you wish you could see more of, but that’s part of the beauty; you get to make up your own mind about how each of those stories might end. The stories are assembled in somewhat of a chronological order, beginning with first dates, then sex, then marriage, then children, then divorce, and finding love again in later life. It’s a little bit cynical, and a whole lot hilarious, and genuinely relatable throughout.

The cast is comprised of Megan Carole, Aidan Cutler, Sophie Kandola, and Ollie Thomas-Smith. All four are such strong performers, both vocally and in their characterisation, and bring so much energy and exuberance to the tiny stage. Each plays around a dozen different characters, and impressively manages to make them all unique. We see different ages, sexualities, personalities, accents, and postures, all keenly switched between in such a short time.

Standout moments are hard to choose, but “Hey There, Single Guy/Gal” had the audience creased with laughter, as did “Scared Straight”. “Shouldn’t I Be Less In Love With You?” was a rare moment of stillness and sadness in an otherwise laugh-a-minute show that brought most of the room to tears. The final story number “I Can Live With That” was beautiful and definitely the perfect ending to the whole piece. 

The staging is expertly executed in such a tiny space. Intimate venues like The Old Joint Stock can be magical, and director Karl Steele certainly found that magic. With a simple set and costuming it is easy for the audience’s imaginations to expand the scenes and gives the performers plenty of space to fill. The traverse staging is cleverly done and feels natural without too much time spent looking at the back of anyone’s head. The little moments of audience interaction felt appropriate for the atmosphere and added to the experience.

This is the first of four in-house productions planned for The Old Joint Stock this year, and if this is the quality of show we can expect then it’s going to be a wonderful season of theatre you won’t want to miss.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change plays until the 12th of August.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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