By Steve Cooke
Tanika Gupta’s Love n Stuff, Oldham Coliseum’s first main-house show to a un-distanced audience in 18 months, provided a welcome return to the world where people can share their laughter and enjoyment of live entertainment in a real rather than virtual world.
The setting is the airport, where Mansoor (Maanuv Thiara) is waiting for a long-delayed one-way flight to India after leaving his wife Bindi (Komal Amin) a note to say he needs to return to his roots with "I have to do this for myself." Bindi tries everything to get him to stay, from anger, to tempting him with food, to taking him back to when they met as people from different religions—he Muslim, she Hindu—and married for love against their families' wishes before moving to England, to some ill-judged schemes involving their friends, two cats and a fake police officer.
The characters are all played engagingly by Amin and Thiara without any changes of costume. This may seem potentially confusing but director Gitika Buttoo’s full-on production delivers.
Hannah Sibai's design deploys convincingly real elements of an airport waiting area such as signage and seating, which are moved around by the actors to create the impression of different places, and in last scene cleared from the stage to create a living room.
On until 02 Oct
Thanks to Chris Payne for the images