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Love. Stories. on 10th June 2023

Love. Stories. at Bath Fringe Festival – the second of 2 shows held at The Grapes, Bath. On this warm Saturday night, with a lovely audience, we made a show together like this…

98% of the audience wanted to move in or remove furniture from the beautiful Pocock’s Living Room. None were allowed to do so.

Everyone survived the extreme romance on a farm story and went off to buy some Mills & Boon.

There was lots of cheering in the World Cup of Love Songs.

Semi-Final 1: Love will tear us apart by Joy Division v You're gorgeous by Babybird

Result: Love will tear us apart 5 – 3 You're gorgeous

Semi-Final 2: If you leave me now by Chicago v Lady in red by Chris De Burgh

Result: If you leave me now 9 – 4 Lady in red

World Cup of Love Songs Final

Result: Love will tear us apart 8 – 10 If you leave me now

Mark shared some of his romantic history and can never look Lionel Richie in the eye – you know why.

The audience made appalling choices for Humi, but Lizzo saved the day for the second show running.

The audience shared some of their Love Stories.

A young and not yet married couple on a trip away in the 60s. A stay in a B&B overlooking St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall was full of promise. Until an ancient landlady took one look at the couple and uttered the very unromantic words ‘separate rooms.’

An early first date story where a couple met over a dating text message service. The date came to an early end when the man excused himself to go to the toilet and he never came back. He just drove off. [Mark’s note: The sisterhood interrupted this story by declaring, ‘I hope he died a horrible death’. Note to anyone who thinks leaving during a date is a good idea – your date will never forgive you, the sisterhood will never forget.]

A proposal [Mark’s note: extra points for a proposal]. The recipient of the proposal (f) wasn’t talking it up: it was in a restaurant café type place, there was a half-bottle of champagne, the waiter called me ‘sir’ and in response to the proposal, I said ’no’ but ‘he didn’t hear me’. The proposer (m) made to exit the room during the sharing of this story and suggested it was more Café Royal and greasy spoon. The couple are long since married so the second instalment must have had a happy ending.

Think early-1980s. Think second date, think big hair. Think a pub in Corsham. Think an arm round the shoulder. Think fag in hand. Think lashings of flammable hairspray. Think ‘hair on fire! Fire! Fire!’. Think fire alarms, evacuation. Do not think an enduring relationship was borne from this experience. Do imagine a long and lonely walk home.

Ah the romance of a visit to the sea. Alright so it was Plymouth, but with a relatively new boyfriend and promising romance. After parking and feeding the meter, walking up the hill, the beau pointed out the Registry Office saying, ‘that’s very handy.’ Cue for a spontaneous proposal and wedding service perhaps? I’m afraid not. More, ‘that’s very handy, free parking!’

Huge thanks to all those who opened their hearts to share and empathise with these stories.

There was the sound of heartache...Ting.

A small boy with wings fired some arrows.

Huge and heart-felt thanks for everyone who took a chance on love and made a show with me. Thanks also to the brilliant teams at The Grapes and Bath Fringe Festival and to Trish for being front of house and the best letter writer in the world.

Mark xx

[Mark’s note: Mark went home very happy.]


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