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The Love Stories Show on 28th June 24 - Fringe TheatreFest

The first of three shows at Fringe TheatreFest in Barnstaple at the Golden Lion Tap - each of these are things are now close to my heart. On a Friday evening, with two Robs on tech duty and people who had come for a slice of love, we created this...

Love Hearts for everyone - a promise is a promise after all.

In a story of high romance, Tom was asked questions he didn't want to answer, 'when are you going to get a decent haircut?' Glad to report for Tom, me and probably thousands of blokes out there, it wasn't a deal breaker in the end.

There were some great additions to the hall of fame in The World Cup of Love Songs. Here are the results:

Semi-Final 1: Woman in love by Barbara Streisand v La vie en rose by Louis Armstrong

Result: Woman in love 2 - 4 La vie en rose

Semi-Final 2: Dancing in the moonlight by Toploader v Don't go breaking my heart by Elton John & Kiki Dee

Result: Dancing in the moonlight 5 - 8 Don't go breaking my heart

World Cup of Love Songs Final

Result: La vie en rose 5 - 7 Don't go breaking my heart

Elton and Kiki were delighted when I called them, as was the medal winner in the room.

A first date was put in jeopardy by the poor choices made by the audience. In the absence of a responsive local constabulary, Lizzo wielded proportionate force and retribution and her wooden flute to dispatch violent men to Bideford.

Mark's best romantic moments included a whole box full of letters - back in the days when he could read his own handwriting. A better man back then than the feckless, lardy reality on show today.

The audience shared some super love stories too.

First up we had ecstasy and agony in a single Valentine, a first…received at age 7. The happiness, the pride. Until the teacher our 7-year-old schoolgirl had a crush on, saw the card and asked…’don’t you love me anymore?’ The horror, the embarrassment. Top marks to this story sharer – she still has that card. Bravo!

Next we had a tale about a relationship that almost never was. Someone who ghosted a young woman and then sent a message out of the blue…a date? It did not go well. She thought he was a bit of a weirdo and told him, during the date, that he looked bored. To his credit, he laughed and offered thanks for the honest feedback and then disrespected her jumper. Disaster? Not at all. This was the threshold this couple crossed to realise they were comfortable with each other and that there was something there. There still is…they are in a relationship still.

Enormous thanks to everyone that shared their stories – I am grateful, as ever.

Affairs of the heart? Feel like open heart surgery at times. There was Ting, the sound of heartache, as if to prove it and a lighting change!

I can't be objective about love. Nor you. Luckily an alien popped along who told us that 'love gods do not exist' - not even Clooney.

Thanks to box office and stewarding volunteers and the two Robs on tech. Thanks to all at the Golden Lion Tap and Fringe TheatreFest for making it possible.

But most of all, thank you to everyone in the room who took a chance on love and made a show with me.

Mark xx


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