Play: Love Bites - Summer Wedding

This series of five one-act plays follow the stories of people  attending a wedding reception.

The plays, by different writers, are held on a stage set for two,  flanked by wooden shelves in the Calder Bookshop Theatre in Waterloo, by London's South Bank -  yes, it's a theatre in a bookshop, and the table by the till acts as  a bar.

But don't be deterred by the small size of the stage - the verve of  the performers and the strength of the writing make it something much  bigger.

The 15-minute plays, each with two actors, move quickly. Sharp  dialogue expresses conflict and camaraderie, and the action moves  confidently across a range of situations and emotions.

Deft writing and strong performances make the characters immediately  convincing and they hold your attention throughout. The laughs come  fast, with witty one-liners, sparky dialogue and excellent comic  timing.

A critical eye is cast over proceedings by waiting staff Harper  (Donnla Hughes) and the Kris (Alton Letto) who deliver hilarious,  scathing comments (you won't feel the same about attempts at original  wedding catering again).

Yet the more intense feelings that can come to the surface at such an  emotionally charged event as a wedding are not sidestepped.

Family tensions reassert themselves when the uptight Gemma (Sarah  Lawrie) is reunited with her feckless brother Rob (Hasan Dixon) after  three years.

The stigma of being single is evident in Julia (Hannah James),  clutching her clipboard, and ensuring her younger sister's day runs  perfectly, to Amy (Charlotte Coy) who gets a friend to pretend to be  her partner than endure others seeing her as single.

Or does she have another motive? These short plays are characterised  by unexpected twists that can be shocking and touching, but never  sentimental.

This is bright, observational entertainment, with a few thoughts to  muse over later. A great evening out.

Love Bites - Summer Wedding runs until Saturday 29 May 2010 at the  Calder Theatre Bookshop, 51 The Cut, London SE1.

Find out about the Love Bites project at:

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