The story in 'ROMCOM - or, the Distance Love Can Be Maintained Between Any Two Fixed Points' by Ant Hampton and Glen Neath is easy: a man and a woman meet up, fall in love, get married, lose parents, get divorced and then can’t stay alone. Contemporary biographies, relationships, family situations experienced by everyone in one way or the other. Nothing special, not extraordinary. There’s a lethargical beauty, a certain melancholy; sometimes funny sometimes sad. The enormous quality of the text by Glen Neath lies in its openness and fragmentory form. A couple of lines are enough to tell a life and to scratch an experience both the actors on stage and the audience are able to relate to spontaneously.

And that’s what they are asked for.

The set is easy, too. A male and a female actor meet for the first time on stage. They put on the headphones and act via prompts from a CD. A video projection is the only light source. Nothing is rehearsed. The very tight and fixed form of the show is repressive for the actors: they are bound to the path of the recording. The handicap is that the show would run on even if they would drop out. The peculiar situation of the actor in Romcom is that they are spectator and performer at the same time. The audience knows precisely as much about the show as the performers do.

Theatre is an unstable situation in any case. In Romcom the tension of the show results from these two extremes: on the one hand, everything is prerecorded on electronic media. A strict form where nothing can be changed. The stage situation on the other hand is completely opposite: nothing is secure, nothing to rely on.

Thinking about this – again very simplistic – performance strategy in relation to the story told in the show, the show turns into an uneasy and uncomfortable experience on the way we live in relationships: the story is set, it’s experienced innumerable times and even if it fails badly, it’s fragile in every moment.

- Thomas Frank