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Dirty Great Love Story review – the ideal show for apprehensive first dates

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Arts theatre, London
Richard Marsh and Katie Bonna’s verse romcom is a wry, sweet-natured account of a totally believable relationship

Having started out as a 10-minute pub poetry duet in 2010, Dirty Great Love Story has over the years developed into a 70-minute versified romantic comedy. Originally performed by its creators, Richard Marsh and Katie Bonna, who lend their names to the main characters, it is now acted by Felix Scott and Ayesha Antoine and offers a wry, funny, sweet-natured variation on the archetypal boy-meets-girl story.

Nice, nerdy Richard and lately dumped Katie meet when a stag night and hen party collide and end up having a drunken one night stand. Over the following months, they acquire new partners and, when their respective best friends get hitched, fleetingly meet at a wedding, a christening and a muddy pop festival. I believed totally in their stumbling, on-off relationship: less so in the alliance of their class-divided chums, which leads to a scene in one of those country stately homes that seems an obligatory feature of the British romantic comedy.

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