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The Love Stories Show on 29th June 24 - Fringe TheatreFest

Saturday. Saturday. Saturday.

Saturday. Saturday. Saturday.

Saturday. Saturday. Saturday afternoon’s alright!

The middle-child in Barnstaple's Fringe TheatreFest at the Golden Lion Tap - I love them all equally, you know how it is. On a Saturday afternoon, with not a football in sight amongst the audience, we created this...

There were multi-coloured hearts for all the colours of love - I'm here for them all.

For my Nan and her many, many children, there was a story about Tom and Hannah and a reference to an aerial photographer that some might not believe now - but it was a thing. Flew around, took photos and flogged them on doorsteps.

At last, Whitney made her The World Cup of Love Songs debut. Did she win? Here are the results:

Semi-Final 1: I will always love you by Whitney Houston v Mirrorball by Elbow

Result: I will always love you 5 - 5 Mirrorball

After Extra Time: I will always love you 11 - 12 Mirrorball

Semi-Final 2: I don't wanna miss a thing by Aerosmith v

Have I told you lately that I love you by Van Morrison

Result: I don't wanna miss a thing 7 - 8 Have I told you lately that I love you?

World Cup of Love Songs Final

Result: Mirrorball 7 - 8 Have I told you lately that I love you?

Elbow took defeat graciously - they've won before. Van the man's sponsor left the room a World Cup Winner.

Olive's were abused and to be frank, crushed underfoot in an unacceptable altercation that was entirely the fault of the audience. Madonna got into her groove and with the help of Jean Paul Gaultier and probably Q from the Bond films, lasers and a whirlwind cleaned up the mean streets of Barnstaple.

Mark's worst romantic moments included whistling 'As time goes by' from Casablanca. Ironically, one of Mark's best sartorial moments is wearing a trenchcoat and trilby that Humph would have been proud of.

The audience love stories in this show were different – there were themes.

Two stories had themes of being ravished by beautiful women combined with difficult mornings. Two stories had a theme of fancy dress and Halloween. See what you think.

First up, we had another farm romance. A night out in Swansea for some of His Majesty’s Armed Forces, fancy dress and a farm hand’s costume for a not so innocent marine. A real farm-girl clearly picked up on the vibe, took him on, took him home and ravished him – it didn’t sound like he put up a fight tbh. And then, at 4am the Dad (a proper farmer) walks in and gets the marine, in costume but definitely not shoes suitable for the fields, to help him put up some fence posts…for hours.

Then there was another night out for the military with more dressing up – in drag this time. The costumes were kept secret from each other but Ru Paul would have been proud and there was cider involved – the strong stuff. Another girl that was interested, she knew her mind and left our sailor defenceless with the strength of her ardour. Leaving our exhausted and dishevelled matelot to do the 7am walk of shame in costume. Sashay away my friend, sashay away!

For Halloween, there was Dracula – at least a man in a Dracula costume. The Count, as we shall call him, was irresistible that night – receiving lots of female attention with his charm, costume, make-up and fangs. Drac and a young woman hit it off, agreeing to meet for a date another time except…out of costume and with less-than-typically Transylvanian ginger hair…she didn’t want to know. What a pain in the neck. Credit to the teller of this story, I can reveal he was in civvies and not dressed as a vampire to this day.

And finally, more dressing up at Halloween. This time as Linguine from the film Ratatouille. Red converse, ascended to chef’s trousers and from there to a chef’s jacket with two rows of buttons. Linguine met a devil in fishnets and they hit it off to the extent that they retired to a room together and got horizontal. The trouble with sitting on a many-buttoned jacket with many-holed tights is entanglement – and not of the sort they were after.  This was an arduous, ‘no you can’t cut them off’, kind of disengagement that ruined the mood. Props…? Who’d have them.

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

The lights went out on cue, thanks Rob! Because 'I have to let this out, I have to let you know. And' It gets me every time. The Ting, I mean.

An Alien was confused because on his planet they do not kiss. They do not pretend there is a search for weapons. 'You funny earthlings.'

Thanks to box office and stewarding volunteers and 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 who agreed that Saturday afternoon's were alright for taking a chance on love and making a show with me.

Mark xx


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