Theatre: Can the matchmaker find love for herself in Two’s Company?

Keep loving. That’ll be the message that emerges once Rishi and Liz strip down and ravage each other, in a political sense of course, because we all know that in a few weeks they’ll be sitting comfortably and comfortably hand in hand (figuratively speaking). ) on the house’s soft green leather seats.

But what about the rest of us, desperate to feel loved, given the new economic reality, inflation levels in Latin America and the fact that Neighbors is coming to an end?

Well, at least we can feel the feeling vicariously.

Irish writer Gillian Duffy has dreamed up a brand new piece that evokes the days when dating was so much easier, a sweet nod to the cult film, Carry on Loving, in which Sid and Hattie run a dating agency, where customers were matched by cards pulled from a plastic box.

“A great friend of mine from college, a mature student, heard an ad on the radio in Ireland about a dating agency, where you’re going to meet them, have an interview (sort of) about you- even, your life, your personality, what you would like from a relationship, etc., and the agency then matches you up with another person… you have three agreed dates as part of the fee,” says Gillian.

“My friend liked it because she doesn’t use social media; did not feel comfortable sharing information online; and hadn’t had a date in over twenty years, so she felt she needed help.

“A lot of modern dating is done online, but not everyone is comfortable with it, or feels confident enough to take this approach, so my friend went with the dating agency. pairing…even though some matches were very unsuitable, and not at all what she wanted, it was a good experience for her, and her search continues…”

This gave Gillan the inspiration for the play, Two’s Company. Maureen (played by Carolyn Calder) just got out of a broken marriage, she’s a single mom and she’s reached a turning point in her life – she wants to start her own business, do something that will make her happy (and hopefully bring happiness to others too), and after some introspection, she decides to create her own dating agency, especially for those who don’t want to do online dating… but the agency goes viral, and she receives requests from all ages … from all parts of Scotland.

Duffy’s Two’s Company is certainly tossing the very idea of ​​love algorithms into the hard drive. This is the story of Maureen Parker, a hopeful romantic who happens to be 55, twice divorced and single.

Yet, ironically, Maureen is also the owner of Two’s Company Matchmaking Agency, a new dating service for those who prefer “a more traditional approach” to finding love.

The writer explains; “Maureen has been in the love business for over thirty years, long before texting, swiping and picketing became mandatory, but her ‘customers’ are more likely to be on Warfarin than WhatsApp. And the only post they make is sending their love disasters to Maureen’s weekly advice column in hopes of a romantic rescue.

“As Maureen agrees to spend another weekend with a bottle of Pink Gin, Alexa’s Top Ten Tearjerkers, and a pile of lonely hopefuls that even the tide wouldn’t lift, she receives a request that rings a few unexpected bells ; her first love, Michael, the one who broke her heart, is back in town – and he’s looking for a date. With her.”

Does Maureen want to see Michael again after all these years? Can she bear to meet him for coffee in Glasgow, where they first met? Will she be out of this cafe faster than a Scotland Cricket committee can resign?

And, more importantly, is Maureen ready to stop looking for love for others – and grab some of the action for herself?

The storyline will certainly resonate with an older audience. Who hasn’t at some point felt that we missed the person we adored when we were younger?

Who hasn’t gone back to the days when our first love was beautiful, fun and perfect in every way?

And of course, the heady winds of time dusted the list of reasons we broke up in the first place.

Two’s Company stars Still Game’s Matt Costello as Michael, Maureen is played by Carolyn Calder, who wowed theater audiences in a comedic monologue, 51 Shades of Maggie and Una Ailsa Macnab is Beatrice, Maureen’s mother .

The Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh, August 3-28 (not August 15), 5.30pm.

COME ON, Footloose is a love story, isn’t it? Do you think I’m pushing the love theme too far? Well, yes, Footloose the Musical is, ostensibly, the story of Chicago teenager Ren who finds himself dislocated in a hick town, where dancing is forbidden.

But the story describes the love that young people have not only for dance, but for self-expression, for personal identity.

And as Ren fights curfew, we realize his connection to Ariel, the girl who also rebels against the world.

Yes, there is a romantic connection between Ren and Ariel, but the story also considers the love that parents have for their children.

The reason the town’s dance halls have been closed is because of the death of Reverend Moore’s son. He can’t move on, and the result is hurt bitterness.

And there’s a kind of romance in this corner of small-town, bigoted America, certainly a bromance, between Ren and his new best friend Willard.

Ren teaches Willard to dance, with a lot of hand and grip, and the relationship that develops is handled so delicately that the issue of homophobia is never allowed to air.

Footloose is indeed a love story. And although it’s set in the ’80s, we’re very aware that blind prejudice is undoubtedly still alive in modern America.

But yes, the great love story is with dance. As Ren argues, mankind – and woman – has been dancing since the emergence of the feet, indeed dancing was encouraged in the Bible, dancing in the form of prayer.

Darren Day, pictured, leads the cast who perform Footloose and Holding Out for A Hero.

Footloose, August 1-6, King’s Theatre, Glasgow.