He said, She said is a fresh take on the romantic comedy genre

by Jenna Shummoogum · 1 comment

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At first it seems that Lunchbox Theatre’s He Said, She Said is a simple, light theatre piece that provides funny commentary along the same lines of Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. You’d think you’d see the woes of dating, how men and women don’t see eye to eye, you’d get a good laugh or two and then leave the theatre.

But this romantic comedy is more than that. It does have its fair share of comedic lines about how ‘He’ (Curt McKinstry) and ‘She’ (Ksenia Thurgood) can’t communicate in the same language, but it also offers some depth on the subject of romantic relationships. It examines how the clutter of feelings and neurosis, along with pain from prior relationship can cloud the way we look at our own behaviour towards our partners.

The play opens to He and She telling stories about the people they’ve dated, ‘He said that he loved me, but he wasn’t in love with me’. ‘She said she’d have to ask her parole officer.’ The narrative then launches into them meeting each other, awkwardly, shyly and defensively at the gym. He makes a comment about her shoelaces and then that’s all he can talk about. They do wind up being set up by their mutual friends and wind up hitting it off. A particularl scene where she sends him twenty text messages after their first date has great comedic flair. But after a while, communication breaks down in their relationship and things don’t work out. They wind up trying to cope with yet another relationship going down the tubes. They begin to examine what went wrong and figure out how they can pick up the pieces.

It’s all staged cleverly, the stage in the middle with the audience on either side. It allows to illustrate how sometimes men and women are at odds with each other. Set and lighting design by Anton de Groot doesn’t disappoint with storage in the stage floor for clothing and props. There are funky black squares hanging on either side of the theatre, giving the play a jazzy look. Thurgood and McKinstry are charming and funny and play well off each other.

He Said, She said is well written and is a fresh take on the romantic comedy genre, though it does also have some run of the mill ideas as well.

He Said, She said runs at Lunchbox Theatre. Tickets and more information is available online.
(Three and a half stars out of five)


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