We’ve all been there, sitting at a wedding reception listening to a never ending speech thanking a cast of thousands. Market research supremo Frances is now going through just that inner hell, the problem being it’s her brand new husband making the speech. If That’s All There Is follows a surreal journey of the wedding preparation where we never quite know what is real and what is in the bride’s or groom’s vivid imagination.
We begin to wonder why Frances is actually marrying Daniel, an easy contender for most droning man of the year. Daniel, though, sees nothing wrong with bringing his PowerPoint obsession into his marriage, in fact, according to Daniel’s visit to a therapist, it is his wife to be that needs psychological help. In this surreal world, however, of course the therapist is as mad as the client. For anyone who has ever gone through the stress of wedding planning, the descent into near anarchy will be all too familiar.
Theatre company Inspector Sands mix comedy, physical theatre and witty dialogue to create a madcap world that is utterly engaging. This is one of those shows where it is hard to define exactly what it is that makes it work, or indeed what exactly the plot is. The piece works on multiple levels, each allowing the audience to make their own interpretation. It would be easy to dismiss this show as purely a whimsical piece of physical comedy but there is a much darker emotional heart beating here. There are some impressive visual moments but these serve to add to the emotional turmoil the couple face rather than detract.
Lucinka Eisler, Giulia Innocenti and Ben Lewis, give their characters a sense of realism amid the madcap and grip audience attention throughout. The show may be inspired by the Peggy Lee song of the same name but, in the end, the best advice must come from a lyric in the same song, If that’s all there is, my friends, then let’s keep dancing.