Robert Tanitch reviews Hello/Goodbye at Hampstead Theatre, London NW3
Peter Souter’s play – not to be confused with Athol Fugard’s Hello and Goodbye – is a romantic comedy, which describes the first and last hour of a dysfunctional relationship.
The characters are placed in the funny but unreal world of sit-com. Alex is an introvert. Juliet is an extrovert. Their relationship begins when they find they have both been given the keys to a flat by different estate agents and they refuse to budge.
Alex (Shaun Evans) collects things, mainly crap, in plastic, cardboard and vinyl, usually found in cereal packaging. He’s a nerd who boasts he’s good in bed. Juliet (Miranda Raison) is beautiful, but she’s also promiscuous, prickly and vile. In fact she’s a bad-tempered bitch who screams a lot.
This unlikely relationship lasts an unbelievable 10 years; and ten years later she hasn’t changed one bit. She’s still ghastly and there’s still no chemistry between them.
Hello/Goodbye is a play for those who want theatre to be like television.