Review: I Heart Louie Sandys
ANGELA LIU: ‘Do see it if you LOL at seeing someone’s trousers fall down. Expect echoes of The Inbetweeners, Date Movie, and The Human Centipede.’
Tuesday 15th – Saturday 20th, 7.00 at the Corpus Playrooms. £5-6.
I will be the first to admit that a two-and-a-half star rating smacks of indecision. But I did emerge from the Corpus Playroom in a fit of indecision: in theory, I hated I Heart Louie Sandys. In practice, I didn’t. Only such a rating can encapsulate the Marmite nature of the play, the clash of interesting ideas and weak jokes, and what was ultimately a self-indulgent sketch show packed with caricatures.
Although the roles demanded about as much subtlety as Simon Cowell’s T-shirts, all credit to the cast for throwing themselves fully into the madness. The sheer energy packed into the boxy Playroom belied the context of the hungover heat of May Week. Theo Chester and his ridiculous wigs carried the show. The entertainingly terrifying Giulia Galastro and the banshee that Eleanor Hardy had swallowed before the show also deserve a mention. Moreover, the use of video montages was skilfully handled – endearingly amateurish yet smooth enough to add to, not detract from, the live action.
Understandably, then, several audience members emerged into the twilight with big grins. Yet also understandably, others hated it. Talented actors are wasted if they are not really acting but merely being bug-eyed, flailing mouthpieces for jokes about masturbation and excrement. The parodic element was inoffensive but uninspired. So much of the tastelessness was gratuitous, inserted for no reason other than to provoke a reaction and contributing nothing to the play as a whole.
I Heart Louie Sandys could have been as much of a mess as the Playroom’s floor at the end of the show. It wasn’t, but neither was it as clever or as funny as it hoped to be. Don’t see it if you’re still drunk from a May Ball and on the verge of chundering. Do see it if you LOL at seeing someone’s trousers fall down. Expect echoes of The Inbetweeners, Date Movie, and The Human Centipede. Oh, and unless your ankles have a hankering for bits of burger and lashings of fake blood, don’t sit in the front row.