Love, Sax and all that Jazz, Chapter 2, De Mans Dem
Having interviewed the writer, director and local producer behind Love Sax and all that Jazz chapter 2 I was really looking forward to the performance. I expected it to be very funny and have Christian values but it was much more than that.
Alan Charles created a great cast of characters who were similar enough to be believable as friends and yet different enough to have their own distinct traits and foibles. The story is centred on Alfred and located in his bar. He shares his difficulty in choosing between his first-love Louise and his current love and business partner, Kylie. He shows his confusion as he tries his best to respond to both women and how they feel about him. This love triangle keeps the audience guessing until the end.
There is much humour amongst the men and women who visit the bar and share their trials and tribulations in love. Each scene is relevant, informative, and funny and helps you to get to know and care about the characters. Lisa and Brian have been married for four years and Brian is complaining to all his friends that he is not happy with the amount of intimacy they have. This gives an opportunity to explore some gender biases from both men and women. When they finally take some action and meet the online marriage guidance couple – the effervescent Betty and Leroy – the audience is entertained and informed. Not everything is as it first appears. We all know that relationships are built on communication and this is demonstrated when the couple speak and realise that they have no idea how the other one was feels and how they can work towards meeting the needs in their relationship.
As well as the married, unmarried, waiting to be married and divorced characters there is also Phil, the player of the piece. The only parts of the Bible Phil seems to know are Old Testament stories when people had many wives! Despite his lifestyle choices the character is likeable and very entertaining. The female equivalent for Phil is the feisty Jennifer who is introduced as having an affair with a married man.
Having not seen other work by Alan Charles I really want to congratulate him for a great script. Each scene felt natural and relevant to developing the story and characters yet the scenes stand-alone too. You are kept emotionally engaged and there were a few times when the audience went “aaw” and “noo” in unison as we were carried along. With a love poem for the ladies there is something for every one. There is a pivotal bit of performance poetry, which came at exactly the right time and worked really well. There is a very funny bit near the start when the men have a good laugh at how often women have “headaches”. Other metaphors, such as the grass being greener elsewhere, are used to good effect.
If you get a chance to see this comedy play then go for it. It will entertain you whilst keeping your head and heart engaged. The show was put on in a local church and it was lovely to see the pastor and many from the congregation belly laughing throughout. It has something to say to everyone and we’re all in relationships with others, whatever our status.
The next performance of Love, Sax and all that Jazz chapter 2 is on Sunday 28th April at Broadway Theatre, London.
I believe there are plans to bring Love, Sax and all that Jazz, chapter 1 to Reading and I shall be booking that when it comes around. Whilst chapter 2 is from Da Mans Dem, chapter 1 is from the ladies’ viewpoint.