Perfect Match (Watford)
Ours has become a digital age, and an incredibly fast-moving one at that. Watford Palace Theatre's enterprising artistic director Brigid Larmour has come up with the idea for a season of plays exploring how these rapid technological advances affect us. The overall title "Ideal World" has its ironies, reflected in the pixelated image on Alex Lowde's drop curtain.
Pixelated is a fair description also of the characters in Gary Owen's "Perfect Match". At one level it's a riff on Coward's "Private Lives", evoking the same somewhat wince-induced laughter from the audience at certain verbal and physical exchanges.
You might think that Anna and Joe are fortunate to be about to cement their nine-year relationship by marriage. That is, until Anna discovers an online, very expensive, dating-agency. She meets Aaron, falls head-over-heels for him (as he does for her) and sidelines Joe. Just as Aaron drops his own long-term girl-friend Lorna.
It's very funny and the cast, two of which are recent drama school graduates, do equally well by it. Eva-Jane Willis as Lorna is especially enjoyable as she and Joe (Ken Nwosu) decide that being second-best just isn't good enough; this is a woman who stands up to being stood-up – and has the techniques to make her point.
Kelly Hotten makes Anna into a slightly dippy person with whom it's hard to feel empathy. Both Nwosu and Tom Berish as Aaron run their own variations on the "male chauvinist pig" extremely effectively.