Blackout Songs review – An intoxicating journey into addiction

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He is dozy and monosyllabic, caught in a haze of memory loss and self-pity; she is wired to the max on coffee and adrenaline and talks a blue streak. She has money, he has none.

They flirt, fight and drink in a whirlwind of co-dependency that director Guy Jones speeds along with flashing neon scene changes and bouts of manic movement choreographed by Iskandar R. Sharazuddin.

Time moves backwards and forwards, altering history as the unreliable narrators of their own story resort to acting out scenarios and role plays to distance themselves from reality.

It is also incredibly funny, until it isn’t. What seems giddy and superficial gradually sneaks under your skin leaving indelible scars; she has a callous fling with another man, he is given months to live.

With nothing more than a few chairs to move around, Humphries and Austin deliver performances of amazing physical dexterity, psychological nakedness and intoxicating conviction.

Blackout Songs is currently playing at Hampstead Theatre until December 10. For tickets call: 020 7722 9301, or visit the theatre’s website.

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