Collated from their popular YouTube web series, Quackpot Productions bring their Lockdown Love Story to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s digital programme.
Billed as “five minutes of heaven”, what we get are several awkward online dates and chats between five different characters.
These Zoom speed chats are as embarrassing as any online meeting you might have had, and adding a filter of pink hearts over the top does little to imptove matters.
I saw Quackpot creators Alice Fforde and Charlie Dryden recently on stage at the Camden Fringe in their show Meet Cute, which impressed with its comedy and originality. They combine again here to bring this episodic piece to the screen.
In Lovedown Love Story, their characters Laura and Matthew are joined by Conor Quinn as Noah (who gives off definite ‘incel’ vibes), Barbara Diesel as earth princess Lou, and Olivia Bennett as Toni, owner of the dating apo.
The chats verge from the creepy to the nervous, the unhinged to the sweet. Expected Zoom technical glitches in sound and vision lead to some bizarre moments, as eager beaver Matthew tries to track down the elusive Laura (the”fair maiden” he thinks looks like Sharon Tate).
This is an ink-black piece once it moves on from its slightly left-field first meeting. One character prefaces a curious date with an outburst of hate against another, on brief acquaintance; and I didn’t see the ending coming.
Lovedown Love Story is script edited by Hannah Eidinow, with music by Alex Bywater. It is strongly paced and even the secondary story between oddballs Noah and Lou is given enough time to intrigue, if not satisfy completely.
Fringe rating: *** (and a half)
You can stream Lockdown Love Story on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s Fringe Player until the end of August: book your tickets here.