Edinburgh review: A Hundred Different Words for Love (Summerhall)

After his success with ”Team Viking”, storyteller James Rowland returns with this exploration of love and why one word is just not enough

A Hundred Different Words for Love
A Hundred Different Words for Love

The Inuit famously have 50 words for snow, something they are literally surrounded by 24/7. So why do we only have one word for love – an emotion that, as Wet Wet Wet so wonderfully put, is all around us?

In his new show – which inhabits the same universe as his 2016 hit Team VikingJames Rowland recounts a touching and excellently funny story about the pitfalls of being unable to express one’s feelings with a singular word.

A master storyteller, Rowland commands his audience in the unique setting of Summerhall’s Anatomy Lecture Theatre. With wit and charm in abundance he invites us into his own Richard Curtis film that sees him meet The Girl, woo The Girl and fall for The Girl in the space of several weeks. When The Girl declares her love for him, he can’t bring himself to reciprocate, that four-letter word just doesn't cut it.

At times Rowland’s delivery risks slipping into corniness, but then it’s a show about love with a distinct Notting Hill vibe so cheese is an essential ingredient. It’s an ebullient, endearing 60 minutes in which the wordsmith never forgets his audience, riffing and relating to every single person sat in front of him.

If you think rom-coms could do with more ‘com’ then this is the show for you.

A Hundred Different Words For Love runs at Summerhall at 16.30 until 27 August.

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