More About the Language of Love


More About the Language of Love received its first and only production at the New Copenhagen Pub Theatre in York Way, near King's Cross, a notoriously crime ridden Red Light district of London, on 11th September 1991.

The cast consisted of
Leighton Carter (Lance Longstick), Caroline Burns Cooke (Laura Lovejuice), Anna Maria Coombes (Juniper Fruit), Hamish Galloway (Saul Corroda), John Golden (Mister Keystone), Tom Hayes (Chuck Powiss), Euan Macnaughton (Slick Vest/Orson Soul), Phil Mason (Tab Barton), David Nott (Rex Mundy).
Directed by James Martin Charlton; Designed by Deborah Harding;
Music by Oran Kivity and John Wall.

The venue was pretty seedy - the audience had to negotiate a lightless staircase up to the tiny room in which the play was performed. The production was extremely stylised - the cast wore Commedia dell'arte-type make-up, Deborah Harding's imaginitive set drew from Expressionist cinema and Francis Bacon paintings - as well as extremely long: the evening ran for just under three hours!

The play received good if guarded notices from London listings magazine City Limits ("indelible images… undeniably kicks liberal complacency in the balls) and from the now defunct free paper The Good Times ("pretty powerful stuff") and a rip-roaringly bad notice from Time Out ("a three-hour nightmare") whose critic Paula Webb approached JMC at the interval to challenge him - "I'd like to ask you what you think you're doing with this play." Funnily enough, JMC met Paula at a party for a TV soap opera both of them were working on a number of years later; Paula laughed when JMC reminded her of the review, and confessed that she hated More About the Language of Love more than any other play she reviewed on her years with Time Out. JMC was jolly pleased with this accolade.

In 1993, JMC considerably edited and re-jigged the play (cutting one character completely, the verbose voice-over merchant Orson Soul), bringing it down to a more manageable length. The play still remains strong and punishing stuff, the indelible images - both visual and verbal - are still there. So far, JMC has not had the courage, or the cheek, to revive the play. He says "If I ever become famous, or win the lottery, I shall see it is produced at the Theatre Royal Haymarket with an all-star cast."

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