Improvisation duo Rachel Thorn and Alex Keen chat to the audience and pinch interesting character ideas to fuel their hour long improv set based around the highs and lows of being in love. In this particular case, we have Rachel the carpenter/musician, whilst Alex is some sort of barrister. From the get go, the scenes are dull and lack any real interesting conversation. The pair have no sense of giving or receiving and seem to be reacting on two completely different wavelengths. Thorn appears to be holding back laughter during the more serious scenes and the character she creates is tremendously unlikable, as she attempts to raise the stakes from zero to one hundred over the tiniest disagreement. Keen, although naturalistic, seems to be at a loss throughout.
The pace goes from slow, to laboured, to painful. Whilst the initial idea is intriguing, there needs to be far more to the piece to prevent it from just feeling like two people struggling to find words for an hour. No one wants to watch a vanilla couple live out a boring life. With a much shorter set and much higher stakes, Between Us might find it's place amongst the fringe theatre scene.
Written by Faye Butler