Signal Failure, Underbelly, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Em-Lou Productions
Sasha Ellen (writer), Peter Darney (director)
Sasha Ellen (Lorna), Spencer Cowan (Brian)
Running time

“To the woman on the Thursday morning service to St. Pancras, you had ginger hair, Aztec print dress and a tattoo on your arm. I could hardly take my eyes of you” The Guy Opposite”
Metro, 11 August, 2014.

If you travel by train, tube or bus, especially to and from work you are sure to have picked up a free copy of Metro. To while the time, you may have glanced at the daily column, Rush-Hour Crush, the charming list of “I Saw You” observations about fellow travellers. Too shy to say hello in person? Send a message to Metro and she/he might reply….

This is the scenario in Signal Failure. Lorna, a rather scatter-brained 20 something girl, has newly arrived in London to start work in an office and experience the scary, adult world of city life.

On the tube each day she views her fellow commuters, people-watching with a romanticised imagination. She spots an attractive, rather sad young man, wondering who he is. This is Brian, a hard working Chef who spends his time off at home playing Grand Theft Auto.

Through the quirky narrative of internal thoughts and authentic, witty dialogue we are quickly drawn into the lives of these young people, in search of love and friendship. To relate more of the story, with its dramatic twists and turns, would be a plot-spoiler.

The simple set of tea-chest boxes, wooden plank and props (mobiles, glasses of wine), take us from a Tube train, to office, pub and bedroom, scene by scene.

The fast paced action is choreographed by Peter Darney like a sassy tango, blended with clever miming and a few brilliantly farcical sketches: Brian and Lorna are seen standing, chest on boobs, thigh on thigh, on a crowded rush-hour train…… leading in due course to an even more awkward, intimate encounter under a duvet.

Performed by the play's writer, Sasha Ellen and Spencer Cowan (think Reese Witherspoon and Jude Law in their youthful prime) this is a bittersweet, honest and truthful romantic comedy with emotional heart. Highly recommended for fans of “Sleepless in Seattle” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral”.

Show times:
31 July-24 August @ 2pm.
Ticket prices: £9.00-£10.00