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Image: EUTCO

Tom Wells’ charmingly eccentric comedy-drama has been taken on by EUTCO, and it’s safe to say that the theatre company has done the play justice. The play explores themes of love, loyalty (to a sofa, of all things!), compromise and coming of age through a fun, relatable lens.

EUTCO’s use of a minimalistic set does a great job of highlighting the various relationships and character dynamics presented throughout the play and the actors all portray their respective characters’ developments and improvements beautifully. The cast even have a crack at Yorkshire accents, which we all know is an impressive feat for a theatre company from Exeter – let’s be real, other than that one Northern lad who never turns up to lectures, everyone you’ve met at uni has been from Surrey and is obsessed with brie and avocado toast (it’s the Exetah equivalent of beans on toast at every other uni).

Simon Marshall plays Stitch, the protagonist, a young man who has recently come out of the closet and is exploring his sexuality. Marshall portrays a tentatively uncloseted young man down to a T.

Anna Blackburn plays Liz, a heavily pregnant young mother who has various amusing pregnancy cravings, including an obsession with Battenberg cake. She is not only preparing for the birth of her daughter, but also parenting her nephew, Sam, and brother, Stitch. Blackburn plays a tired mother wonderfully, evoking both laughs and sympathy from the audience.

The play explores themes of love, loyalty (to a sofa, of all things!), compromise and coming of age through a fun, relatable lens

George Fincher plays Mark, Liz’s – at times incompetent – husband. He represents every young father-to-be’s conflicted feelings of excitement at the prospect of starting a family and fear of leaving his own childhood behind, a predicament which is sure to resonate with a few young fathers in the audience.

Harry Heap plays Dave and really commits to doing so – he appears in a penguin onesie for the entirety of the play! Dave is the fuckiest of fuckboys and Heap is sure to stir the broken shards of a few fuckboy-targeted-hearts in the audience with his portrayal.

James Murphy and Lorna Hemingway make their smashing directorial debut, while Kirsty Hibbert and Tom Mastin-Lee produce their socks off for the first time. Jack Dryden is the in-house tech pro, providing the works throughout the show, from ambient lighting to timely sound effects.

After making their hugely successful debut in Exeter, EUTCO is taking their production of Me, as a Penguin to Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer.

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