Dogged charm

Here’s a Fringe rarity: an old-fashioned, romantic comedy


In Dog Years I’m Dead

New Theatre


The trauma of turning 30 provides the thematic trope for this double-hander by debutante playwright Kate Heffernan, but the real attraction lies in its sprightly comic sensibility.  Robert Bannon and Marie Ruane play two aimless souls on the cusp of their 30s who, after meeting at a fancy dress birthday party, engage in a tentative courtship. Marked by gentle subterfuge, their growing relationship references Jane Austen but is funneled through the contemporary idiom of blog postings.

At heart, however, this is an old-fashioned romantic comedy of misunderstandings, marked by smart dialogue, zingy gags and winning performances: the two actors savour their multiple bit-parts while bringing charm to the main characters. There is the odd jarring note – a backstory about an ex’s pregnancy seems crowbarred in – but this is entertaining, crowdpleasing theatre. It even gently subverts its nostalgic backdrop, not least in a soundtrack that reminds one how bad chart music was 30 years ago.

Ends Sept 14