The Hen and Chickens Theatre – until 14 February. Reviewed by Claire Roderick
It’s the morning of the 15th February, and The Morning After Clinic has a long line of clients waiting to see the Love Doctor about their romantic troubles. The audience become students of Amorology, sitting in on the consultations as research assistant Aphrodite ushers the patients in and out.
The potential for comedy dynamite from romantic misadventures is endless, and Monorogue’s writers and performers have created some cracking losers in love. With both male and female writers, the show is well-balanced, with the male writers/performers creating the needier, less assured characters.
The parade of patients includes the delusional, the misunderstood and the desperate, riffing on the horrors of communicating by text, the difference between love and sex and other familiar cringeworthy situations. The most memorable patients are Angela Harvey dressed as a nun, living in constant dread of her husband’s next overly romantic movie-themed Valentine’s extravaganza and Kim Hardy as a young soon-to-be father who is experiencing some worrying symptoms. The standout monologue, full of filthy slang from across the centuries is Mike Elliston’s ghost, Lucie D’Charcoal, performed by Mary-Ann Cafferkey. There is barely room to catch your breath between the jokes as Cafferkey describes, in hysterically coarse detail, her time as King Louis’ mistress.
After each consultation, the Love Doctor’s sneering judgements are balanced by the compassionate wisdom of Aphrodite (Geraldine Brennan), which could have become a little corny, but is saved by Brennan’s spikiness and no-nonsense delivery. There are no weak links in this show, with all the monologues and performances delivering plenty of pathos alongside the big laughs.
The Morning After could quite possibly be the perfect Valentine’s night out. Let’s face it, whatever disasters happen on your date, they could never be as bad as what the twisted minds at Monorogue have dreamed up.