Jess is having a tough time. She’s going through a break-up from Leo – perfect, beautiful ‘The One’ Leo. If it were 2015, she’d remove him from Facebook, delete his number, cry to ‘Someone Like You’ then download Tinder. But this is the 90s. So she puts on her best scrunchie, cries to ‘2 Become 1’ (obviously) and embraces the 90s answer to match.com: speed dating.
We laugh at Jess’s heartbreak as she cries in a dressing gown waiting for the phone to call. We’ve all been there (No? Just me? Ok). But Jess’s friends are having none of it, ready to drag Jess out of her house and get her back on the market. Girl Power is what the 90s did best – we can thank the Spice Girls for that – and 2 Become 1 has it in droves.
Every so often, the narrative pauses and we’re treated to our very own musical number – Steps, Cher, Shania Twain – complete with music video-esque choreography. There’s even a dance mat scene. And who needs Just Dance in your living room when you’ve got a warm beer in a dingy seaside arcade with a dance mat? Welcome to the 90s.
Molly, Amanda and Charlie don’t just want to help Jess though. They’re ready to find themselves some men too, of course. We see them on a multitude of dates, each perfectly structured as short little monologues that probably didn’t end in relationships This is a cast of four incredibly talented performers, and refreshing to see an all-female show that is unashamedly girly. 2 Become 1 is inadvertedly feminist, with characters pondering different genders attitudes to relationships and reclaiming their sexualities. And this is an important aspect to explore, given the mainstream growth of feminism in the 90s.
Admittedly, there are a lot of facets to 2 Become 1’s structure, which has the potential to seem jarring, but here it seems multi-layered and keeps us on our toes. Literally. By the end, half the audience is onstage dancing to a 90s mega-mix. If this isn’t your thing, avoid sitting on the front row.
There’s a fine line with a show like this being either brilliant or tacky (did somebody say Viva Forever?). 2 Become 1 falls artfully in the former category. 2 Become 1 won’t going to change lives but it’s unabashedly fun – and what more could you ask for from a self-proclaimed comedy pop musical? I’m hoping Swipe Right return next year with an 80s show. And then the 70s. And so on.
2 Become 1 is playing at C Nova (venue 145) until August 31. For more information, visit the Fringe website.