Review Eva Laszlo-Herbert 31.10.2014 Through the Looking Screen
The opening night of Through the Looking Screen was sold out for a good reason, as it is not that often that operetta in English descends to the stages of The Hague. The foyer of the Paradise was buzzing with anticipation: an operetta, a solo performance to the tunes of the piano, about internet dating ?!
Well, let me tell you this much: with a minimum of well-chosen props, Amy Payne (diva) and Elisabeth Challenger (piano) took us through a formidable one hour tour-de-force, with baffling twists and turns, shrieks and gasps, and the occasional sighting of a very large tub of Nutella.
Spanning several octaves and well over fifty shades of what love might look like in the age of internet it was hilarious, most of the times. An operetta, indeed - the singing, the storyline and the performance were frivolous, with plenty of improbable twists and turns and very, very well done.
Annabel, the not yet thirty and increasingly desperate solo protagonist, was fast and furious; scheming and intriguing, gossiping and fussing, occasionally drowning in self-pity and self-righteousness, undeterred in her pursuit of the ideal date. Just as Bridget Jones did a decade ago, when email was the weapon of choice, Annabel navigates the broadband highway of internet dating by adjusting the course of her chase to the pings of messages entering her virtual horizons.
It’s fifty minutes of frothy and silly burlesque– and, at times, is rather uncomfortable, almost too close to home. Kudos to Amy for being so credibly incredibly o.t.t.
There were times when the audience seemed able to anticipate what would come next; the approving nods and muffled ahs and ohs hinted that there might have been several Annabels sitting in the dark among us.
So: If you are happily anchored in a worthy relationship – go and see it, and then count your blessings. If you are still looking; especially, if you are looking via the screens – go, enjoy it and then do better.
Either way, you’ll have fun. Guaranteed.
Seen 30.10.2014 – Het Paradijs – Koninklijke Schouwburg – The Hague – the Netherlands