The Landor is such a sweet theatre that it’s difficult not to like everything that’s put on there. Thankfully, Theatrica Ltd.’s Next Thing You Know is so fun that it’d be enjoyable pretty much anywhere, regardless of venue.
Following the love lives and work worries of a group of four twenty-something New Yorkers in painstaking detail, Next Thing You Know takes the audience on a journey that tackles love lost, found and longed for.
When Waverly (Jennifer Potts) and Darren (Bart Edwards) break up – sorry, “mutually decide to pursue other opportunities” – she starts casually sleeping with Darren’s colleague, Luke (Aaron Lee Lambert). Meanwhile, every character is pursuing his or her teenage dreams and coming to terms with the fact that compromises have to be made in the real world. Predictably, tension escalates and drama ensues.
Although some scenes are overly earnest, this show contains enough hilarious honesty to make up for its deficiencies many times over. "Hungover", a song which includes the excellent line “I would kill my on sweet mother / For a fucking glass of water,” is undoubtedly its highlight.
And Waverly and Luke’s efforts to get dressed under the bed sheets after hooking up for the first time resonate with anyone who has ever regretted a one night stand and woken up afraid that they might be drinking their way through their twenties.
Lisa (Amelia Cormack), Waverly’s best friend, is particularly strong as a lesbian who moved to New York to find love and dreams of moving to California to pursue her music career. She’s consistently funny and times each joke perfectly.
The rest of the cast is strong too, with everyone showing off plenty of angsty emotion. Although the live band occasionally drowns out the singing, and the scene in which Luke and Darren communicate by speaking computers is poorly timed, the play’s themes ring true to so many twenty-somethings that face financial, romantic and aspirational worries.
Next Thing You Know also makes the most of the space on offer, with its set divided into a bar, three bedrooms, a restaurant and a street. Through cleverly blocked split staging and a multi-platform stage, the space lends itself perfectly to the play’s every scene.
Expect HBO’s Girls with less nudity and more singing.