The buzz….on I heart Peterborough

Thursday 11th October

With #Iheartpeterborough entering it’s final two weeks and arriving in London’s @sohotheatre time for another twitter feedback catch up!.

‘Rarely am I so moved by the poignant brilliance of theatre as I was tonight by @easternangles #iheartpeterborough’ says @simondaykin ‘just wonderful’. Jon Spponer of @untheatre simply said ‘I heart I Heart Peterborough by @JoelHorwood – great everything’. ‘One of the most amazing, beautiful shows I’ve seen in a long time’ echoed @saraleebull – ‘I advise everyone to go and watch it’ ‘Delightful and funny’ was the view of @propershameful whilst @goodchildbyname added ‘best piece of new writing in a long time. Go see it’. @avlev1 enjoyed Milo Twomey ‘jaw droppingly moving and truthful!’

It seems to pack and even more powerful punch the more times you see it (believe me I know!) but if you don’t believe me (and why should you) heres @charlotte_j_b ; ‘# iheartpeterborough was even better the second time round! Go see it at soho theatre everyone!’ A theme picked up by @julesmejules who simply said ‘‘I heart Peterborough’ at Soho Theatre. See it see it see it’ and @evasampson ‘My #edfringe No.1 show – #iheartpeterborough by the wonderful @JoelHorwood is @sohotheatre. All must go. Pronto.’

You have until the 20th October to do just that and already some performances at Soho Theatre are selling out….

(Tuesday 28 August) as the show has now finished on the fringe time for a bit of a round up

The Guardian calls I heart Peterborough ‘ a little heartbreaker, a two-hander about place, identity, betrayal and unreciprocated love’ – appeared in the paper on the Tuesday after the festival finished (shame) but with a lovely picture by Murdo MacLeod (see below).

And there is another intelligent review of the piece in Exeunt Magazine. It starts by referencing one of my favourite lines in the play:-

‘Love is a feeling that you can’t describe in a word, not really. That is the real reason, Joel Horwood’s quirkily beautiful new piece argues, why we draw anatomically inaccurate symbols on Valentine’s Day cards and tacky tourist T-shirts. We struggle to say it in words, so we make it into a picture.’

@SGFringe (Scots Gay Fringe) said ‘This performance is certainly in the top three shows I’ve seen this month, if not all year’ – the full review is here. The review concludes ‘This play does so much more than just entertain, behind the lipstick and sequins it is thought provoking and I urge you to track this show down on its tour in October’.

Unfortunately I can’t point you to the times review – which is of course behind a paywall – suffice to say they weren’t that keen!

But still the twitter reviews keep coming – here are just a few of the recent ones:-

@TREMers_theatre said ‘Well, I Heart Peterborough was utter beauty! Such a stunning show, with incredible performances. Yes!!!’ whilst @neilchinneck said ‘I Heart Peterborough by @JoelHorwood was stunning; beautiful writing, expertly performed. Best thing I’ve seen at #edfringe’ . @HollyBlastoise simply said ‘#iheartpeterborough =ACE’ – which I kind of liked! @katie_monk said ‘Ended the festival on a high note with Joel Horwood’s fantastic I Heart Peterborough. Go see it, people!’

The Scotsman Review is in (update Tuesday 21 August)

Mark Fisher says‘there’s much to enjoy in the two performances, the wit of the staging and the energy of Horwood’s language’. You can read the full review here.

Another update – this time monday 20 August

Two more reviews in (to sit alongside the previously reported Independent and Public Reviews). First up The Stage who made the show a Must See and then Broadway Baby who gave the show ****.

The stage called the play a ‘heartfelt note’ to Peterborough ‘with more than a dose of sparkle‘. It goes on ‘Horwood’s script is full of funny touches . Milo Twomey as Lulu is a fragile and fierce narrator, while Jay Taylor’s Hew provides a compelling and tragic foil.’ Meanwhile Broadway Baby called it an ‘exciting, innovative piece of theatre’. ‘This show’ it concludes ‘ is a definite must-see, but even more so it’s a must-see-again’

English acting legend Miriam Margolyes came in twice to see the show – and you can hear why on this vox pop here

But it’s not just Miriam who have been bowled over by the show – here are some other audience members views in vox pop form

Intriguingly we’ve also had our first v’log – which you can watch here:-

Twitter continues to be awash with great feedback too. We’re appearing on lots of peoples Top Shows of the Fringe lists including the Guardian’s @lyngarnder and the Independents @alicevjones.

Recently @seanlinnen said ‘I Heart Peterborough’ @ThePleasance is an absolute gem. Warm, witty with a big heart. Loved it’ whilst @DaveHutchinson_: said ‘Absolutely loved I Heart Peterborough – just skipped to the top of my recommend list. Top top top’. @andydangerfield said #iheartpeterborough is magnificent. Poetic, witty+heartwarming’ and @EllaVize said the show was – absolutely beautiful, touching, heart wrenching, stunningly acted’

Another update – this time Tuesday 14 August

First up – great to see Simon Stephens whose own Morning at the Traverse is causing quite a stir on the fringe tip Joel’s I heart Peterborough – see the full article in the Independent here.

Some more great twitter feedback on the show. @aellajewelanne said ‘#iheartpeterborough was great yesterday (monday) – very clever and heartfelt. @suziehenderson1 said ‘brilliant first day at the fringe yesterday – saw some great shows – my favourite was #iheartpeterborough which was beautiful. ‘It’s a really great show’ -said @haveyoulostme – ‘mesmerising whilst @fanshentheatre said #iheartpeterborough is full of heart – compassionate and honest and moving but that’s what you’d expect of @easternangles’.

@peterjsharp said it was ‘a wonderful show – lovely story telling, super performances. Thank you’ Whilst @postcard_gods said ‘my other tip from Monday – ‘@joelhorwood ‘s I heart Peterborough – brilliant mixture of brash poetry, poignancy and very funny jokes’. Meanwhile the wonderfully absurd @huntdarton whose cafe is an absolute must see said ‘it’s better than good, it’s true what they are all saying about it, get your asses [and your pineapples] down there’

Quick update (Sun 12 August)

The breakfast podcast complete with vox pox and the rest is now up on my Soundcloud page. You can listen in here or follow this link #IheartPeterborough podcast from Edinburgh by linleymatt

More lovely twitter comments coming in. @littleemac says #iheartpeterborough ‘is my pick of the fringe so far – beautifully written with delightful performances. SEE!’ whilst @FrancescaClark said ‘I Heart Peterborough by @JoelHorwood was just lovely, heart breaking performances & cracking script. Congrats @easternangles #edfest’. Fringe Biscuit gave us another **** ‘I Heart Peterborough, Pleasance Courtyard. Heart-felt storytelling from a duo of complex characters who effortlessly draw you in’. Whilst @mildlybitter said ‘Glad I made last minute change & saw I Heart Peterborough. Sumptuous descriptive writing & very touching performances’

More updates (Sat 11 Aug)

Whoo hoo – we are one of @lyngardner ‘s tips for the week in her theatre blog. The other shows tipped alongside #iheartpeterborough are:-

Mies Julie at Assembly Mound; Knee Deep at Assembly George Square; Caesarian Section – Essays on Suicide and The Shit at Summerhall; Bullet Catch, Blink, Morning and Bravo Figaro! at the Traverse; The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean and The Ballad of Pondlife McGurk at the Scottish Book Trust; The Price of Everything, The Ugly Sisters and Oh, the Humanity at Northern Stage at St Stephens; One Hour Only and B*tch Boxer at Underbelly

There is another review up – this time from @matttrueman which you can read here. Not sure I agree with everything in the review but I did rather like this bit:-

And, boy, does Horwood treat it beautfilly, skimming through the decades and musical trends, alighting on race riots and ingrained homophobia, sweeping through the identikit high street chains that set up shop. You feel it as a city that dresses to impress, but still looks cheap; one that applies concealer to the cracks, where blood and lipstick blend. Insular and dysfunctional. Grimy and incestuous and a world in itself, comfortably awful. It is both heart and ♥.

All this seeps out of Horwood’s gorgeous text, swirling and dizzy, like Enda Walsh ripped out of Ireland and replanted in the Fens. It’s full of sumptuous morsels: brick dust on breath, mixed donner smiles, car crashes between legs.

We had our first mini blog too – from Joanna at Soho Theatre – who said

“I Heart Peterborough is not what you might expect – beneath the depiction of a typical English provincial town is real depth and perception of growing up different and the courage it takes to be yourself. I loved it, and would recommend it to anyone interested in contemporary theatre.”

If you’d like to hear a bit of back stage stuff listen in here for Jay Taylor talking about Joel’s directing technique, Milo talking about the poetry of the writing and both Jay and Milo talking about the play. Each clip is about a minute long – and we’ll have a longer podcast out soon!

Last Updated (Fri 10 Aug)

Four reviews are in so far – four stars from the Independent ‘ Milo Twomey is heartbreaking as the needy Lulu while Jay Taylor is touching as his son, a faithful backing singer with a scene-stealing voice. This is a little show with a big heart from Horwood, his coming-of-age, if you like‘. There is another four star review from Public Reviews. ‘Witty and thoughtful’ it says ‘inexplicably sad and wonderfully heartwarming’. A ‘triumph’ it concludes ‘ and one you would be loathe to miss’

Fest Mag describes the show as ‘a desperate tale of sexual and emotional anguish that is, at times, achingly sad’. The show builds ‘to a conclusion which simmers with fraught emotion, the pair’s outfits masking a well of sadness’. Finally The telegraph says ‘some lovely writing…excellent actors …a real tenderness beneath the rough and tumble of Horwood’s script

And Heres a vox pox from an audience member (from Peterborough) who grabbed me after the show:-

I heart Peterborough – audience vox pox #1 by linleymatt

Twitter too has been alive with comments about the show too. Here’s just a selection of #iheartpeterborough.

The guardian reviewer @lyngardner tweeted yesterday (Thursday) ‘Joel Horwood is such a talent. I Heart Peterborough at Pleasance is a little heart-breaker‘ whilst @Esther_mcauley said #iheartpeterborough,hands down my favorite play @edfringe yet, brilliantly acted, superb writing, should have been sold out. See it!’ @nickgunderwood tweeted Seen 4 Great shows in Edinburgh: Mess (Trav);IheartPeterborough (pleasance); Bamp(pleasance);Yve Blake (FreeFringe )

Great writing and great performances‘ said Hannah Morrison (@hannahpmorrison). ‘Magnificent and moving’ was David Kettle’s view – ‘very fine acting and directing’. With typical timelord brevity Dr Who’s Arthur Darvill (@rattyburvil)screamed ‘It is brilliant’.

I heart Peterborough was beyond sublime‘ wrote @fionamarston – ‘honestly beautiful, carefully heartbreaking and properly funny‘. Liz Eddy (@Lizly) said ‘Just saw @JoelHorwood’s AMAZING I Heart Peterborough. I’m quietly sobbing my heart out’ whilst Polly Ingham (@pingham) found the play ‘got under my skin. Hugely moving’ . @_Hightide agreed calling it ‘affecting,unusual and tender…powerful stuff’

Rosie Wyatt made it her ‘new fringe favourite’. ‘Left me in tears – a beautiful father, son & city love story’. A comment echoed by Rachel Tyson (@tysonrachel) who also made it one of her picks so far – a show she called ‘beautiful, honest and heartfelt’. Director Kate Budgen (@budgek) joined in saying ‘what a class act – beautifully brilliant, thank you’.

Last word perhaps to Cassandra Mathers (@cass_mathers) who said simply – ‘I very much do I heart Peterborough’

For tickets and show times see here

PS and if you are interested here is what I thought

I heart Peterborough is an Escalator East to Edinburgh show and is produced by Eastern Angles in association with the Key Theatre Peterborough and Vivacity

9 thoughts on “The buzz….on I heart Peterborough

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