Review: Oh For F*cks Sake (I’m In Love With You), Nottingham Playhouse with In Good Company and Arena Theatre Wolverhampton
3.0Overall Score

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Imagine this. We’re years into the future, 2099 perhaps. There’s been a post-apocalyptic-style war and robot overlords have taken over the world, which is sadly covered in plastic. Santa Claus is now the greatest dictator of our time – meaning that it literally is Christmas every day – and human contact or companionship is illegal, as “bad things happen when humans come together”. You’re only focus in life is to collect and clear all the plastic litter in hope that one day you’ll be able to move from the ‘Naughty List’ to the ‘Good List’ – to avoid being killed and hung as a Christmas tree decoration.

Bet you’re thinking “What the hell?!?” but this is Robin’s life. Welcome to the crazy and mental world of Oh For F*cks Sake (I’m In Love With You).

In this new audio play from West-Midlands writer, Samson Hawkins, we take a fun dive into a forbidden, comedic romance between Robin, our Santa-style slave and Alex, a rebel from the ‘real world’.

There are so many things to like about this piece; the often dark and filthy humour, the techno-synth interludes from Will Cottrell, and the pure wackiness of the journey, which is full of drones and secret plants that survive on “the power of love”.

Ben Norris (Robin) is nerdy, anxious and perfectly awkward whilst Shaofan Wilson (Alex) is bold, brash and charismatic. Both are vocally engaging and carry the script with gusto.

Whilst the play starts with a really clear view and description of the world, the plot becomes rather complicated and confusing to the point where it’s not clear what’s happening. For example, the actual romance between the characters feels like it comes from nowhere, with no real build up, and suddenly they’re discovering how to have sex…which actually just feels jarring and uncomfortable within the adventure of it all. Their meeting and their encounter is fascinating, but I can’t help feeling that the romance distracts from the key themes of isolation and cult culture.

Oh For F*cks Sake (I’m In Love With You) is successful in being a truly transportive piece of audio theatre, which made me forget the world and laugh out loud. As theatres begin to finally reopen, I cannot wait to see how we take this discovery of the intimacy and thrill of audio theatre forwards into future theatrical developments.

Oh For F*cks Sake (I’m In Love With You)is available to listen to online. For more information, see Nottingham Playhouse’s website.