Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?

Arch468, Brixton

Set up like a small apartment, the venue space of Arch468 affords a
performance area that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. As
the four actors of Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? saunter
from the kitchen to the living room, the living room to the loft,
viewers are free to follow them—often becoming part of the scene.

This intimate seat-less set provides a one-of-a-kind experience for
the theatregoer. At first you may feel a bit intrusive, standing amidst
two couples as they sway in deep embraces. But as the play continues
and they glide from room to room, standing in the middle suddenly seems
like having the power of invisibility, being given a lens into the most
private and heated conversations of a relationship.

Politics is the theme for these heated debates as the pairs of
actors interrupt each other and utter incomplete thoughts aloud.
Although finished sentences are non-existent in Drunk Enough
– based on text by Caryl Churchill – the general idea of clashing
opinions clearly acts to guide the play. And this works in such a small
performance space, as the tension is increasingly heightened.

Even though it is obvious that the show is meant to lend a prying
eye into the inner world of a relationship fuelled by passion—both good
and bad—it is less obvious that the two sets of couples are in fact
different versions of the same couple. Unless privy to this detail
before entering the play, it appears as though the actors are four
individual characters, not two dual characters, who are having affairs
as they float between partners.

When you do realise that the play is attempting to create two
versions of both characters, everything begins to fit a little more
smoothly. This experimental technique enhances the already unique
atmosphere of Drunk Enough as a whole.

The actors—Tyler Coombes and Jennifer Pick as Sam, and Ryan Saunders
and Lucy Grattan as Jack—successfully carry out a potentially dangerous
script. Because the plot builds upon thought fragments instead of
complete dialogue, and the fact that the audience is sometimes within
inches of the performers, it would be easy for distraction to slip in
and spoil the flow of words. However, the actors remain invested in the
show and never falter in delivering performances full of emotion and

Director Hester Chillingworth shows her comfort with such an
uncommon setup and moves the actors from room to room in a fashion that
allows audience members to quickly feel at home while prying into the
world onstage. This world doesn’t end with the last phrase of the show,
either; it continues without pause for five half-hour performances a
night, making the experience even more unique.

While it would be easier for a play staged like this to flop than fly, Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? combines enough talent to kick off Arch468’s life as a theatre venue with a promising start.

-Katie Blemler