Live Forever

theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 09 Aug 2014

It’s 5:30am on a summer morning in the late '90s and our protagonist, a former DJ with a recreational drug habit and a recently broken heart, is woken by his mobile. It’s a friend calling to tell him the news of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in a car accident in Paris. Boggled by the scenes of mourners thronging Kensington Palace to pay their respects, he decides to join them, pressing play on what turns out to be an epic bender fuelled by drink, drugs and public outpourings of grief.

It’s not a bad premise for a one-person show, and writer and director Robert Farquhar and actor Francis Tucker do a good job in conjuring up the chaos and creativity of an LSD trip. But there’s little else to recommend this shouty, crude, predictable piece of theatre.

Tucker’s performance is unremittingly hyperactive—it’s the right tone while our hero is relating the narcotic thrills of the days following Diana’s death, but makes no sense at all as a modus operandi. Farquhar’s writing is just an unsubtle, peppered with clichés and nonsensical mixed metaphors, and only very occasionally interrupted by a neat turn of phrase or appealing image. 

But lack of style is not Live Forever's biggest crime. Farquahar has created a central character it's impossible to care about and a plotline it's impossible to invest in. If Guy Ritchie were to write a monologue for the stage, this would be it.