Best I can say about Dirty Great Love Story is it could make a great date night for Valentine’s Day because your own relationship will seem so much better than dopy Richard and neurotic Katie’s in this trying-too-hard two-hander. On a bare stage. In rhyming couplets.

Otherwise it just proves that rom-com is best left to Bridget Jones movies because this feels way below the standards of even fly-blown two-person love stories when you can spot every move, stagger, handbrake turn and gag-line set-up as this couple careens from stag/hen night collision via Travelodge rumpy-pumpy to an on-and-off series of will-I-run-into-him/her-again scenes. Since there are only two people in the bloody show, this comes with its own answer unless the second half is a hubristic monologue after he’s cut her up and buried her under the patio.

There’s a clever trick where each protagonist also plays their own best friend – but when you find Katie’s strident Scouse mate CC intolerable, and Richard’s thick northern-lad wingman a stereotype, it soon palls.

It’s pert and perky, but feels disappointingly dated, provincial, and over-extended to 90 minutes from its original Edinburgh hour in 2012 where co-creators slam poetry champion Richard Marsh and comedy writer Katie Bonna played ‘themselves’.  At its best, it’s like The Last Five Years without the songs or a pale imitation of Constellations without the wit, unless you rate drunken vomiting during an in-car blowjob as Swiftian satire.

Small bonus is that male lead Felix Scott is Adam’s bit-on-the-side Charlie Thomas, from The Archers, and somewhat too hunky to play this dweeb.

 


until 18 March