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Review: Coupling, Forum Studio Theatre, Chester

We are honoured to welcome special guest reviewer, Chester playwright Gail Young. Gail, who has penned a number of critically-acclaimed plays, including Bouncing Back and Head Over Heels, reviews Coupling, staged by Tip Top Productions at the Forum Studio Theatre. Photos: Jeff Price and Tip Top Productions.

Tip Top’s stage premiere of Coupling is based on the successful British TV sitcom and is written by Steven Moffat.

The TV show aired on BBC2 from May 2000 to June 2004, and centres on the dating, sexual adventures, and mishaps of six friends in their early thirties. 

Rob Lyon (Steve), Hollie Anderton (Susan), Ashely Sollars (Jeff) and Phil Cross (Patrick) in rehearsals for the stage version of the hit TV comedy series Coupling.

A lot of the humour arises from scenes depicting the three women and the three men each talking among themselves about the same events, but in entirely different terms. The women are mainly confident and sexually quite voracious, whilst the blokes are completely useless, riddled with self-doubt and awkwardness.

To be totally frank I’m usually not a fan of TV series translating to the stage. Stage and screen are such different mediums for a writer, and often such stage adaptations result in short choppy scenes that leave me cold. 

But in this instance I have to say that Tip Top totally pulled it off.

This is a sharp slick well paced show with not a weak link among the excellent cast who certainly did not appear to have any first night nerves. From a technical perspective, scene links, lighting and sound were beautifully delivered which was so important in a production where some scene changes literally happened in the blink of an eye.

Top row: Phil Cross playing womaniser Patrick, Ashley Sollars playing strange and disturbing Jeff, Catherine Bryant playing neurotic Sally. Bottom row: Brogan Craine playing manipulative Jane, Rob Lyon playing hapless nice guy Steve and Hollie Anderton playing sensible Susan. Photo: Jeff Price

Hats off to the director Josephine McHugh, cast and crew for displaying such professional and high production values. It was an absolute pleasure to be in the audience. 

If you haven’t got a ticket yet grab one while you still can – the show runs at the Forum until Saturday 25 May.

We have given Coupling a rather loved up ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ rating.

To book, contact the Tip Top box office on 01244 341296, call in to the Visitor Information Centre in the Town Hall in Chester or go online to tiptopproductions.co.uk.

About Angela Ferguson (171 Articles)
I'm a writer, journalist and blogger, as well as the founder and editor of culture webzine wearechester.co.uk. I'm also a university lecturer in journalism and media communications and a radio presenter for hire.

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