JOHNNY has been falling in love with Frankie from afar. And the chef at the diner where they both work has a plan.
Turns out she is already quite enamoured with his wrists.
But after a very energetic one night stand under the covers at Frankie’s New York appartment, will Johnny be able to convince her that this is a relationship that will outlive the moonlight.
With a little help from a local radio presenter and a choice of romantic mood music for the crossed-lovers, the audience at Chichester have front row seats to discover whether the work colleagues from the diner can find more in common than discovering they were born in the same town.
At least they have nothing to hide, as the pair emerge from beneath the sheets stark naked to begin an at times awkward, more often hilarious, exploration of what makes a romance.
Dervla Kirwan plays Frankie, the forty-something waitress who is looking for something a lot less complicated than the man she finds she cannot persuade to leave her appartment.
This is a marvellous interpretation of playwrite Terrance McNally’s fiesty singleton. Kirwan’s Frankie is at once bold and brassy, but also insecure and confused; torn between recoiling against and being drawn to the man in the green underpants strutting around her kitchen.
Neil Stuke plays Johnny, the divorced dad of two whose passion for life and Frankie is touching and overwhelming. In an unabashed performance, when Stuke is almost never in any reasonable state of dress, Johnny chases the woman of his dreams while in sarong, in those pants, and in the buff. A spellbinding character.
Paulette Randall’s direction is superb, the comic timing tremendous, bringing hearty roars of laughter from the first night audience.
Designer Libby Watson has created a wonderful, un-made-bed setting which uses best use of lighting to change the tempo and mood as moonlight gives way to dawn and Frankie and Johnny face their futures.
As mood music for any star-crossed lovers it can’t be beat.
It runs until December 6.