Review: What’s In a Name? at the Alexandra Theatre

“Look what happens when the trendy lefties move in!”

Adapted and translated by Jeremy Sams from Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de La Patellière’s hugely successful ‘Le Prénom,’ ‘What’s In a Name?’ made its UK debut in Birmingham in 2017 and has now embarked on a UK tour.

Father-to-be Vincent and his partner Anna are invited to dinner by his sister Elizabeth and her husband, Peter. They are joined by childhood friend Carl for a mature and sophisticated gathering.

The meal is lovingly prepared, and wine carefully selected. The friends are prepared for the usual humorous exchanges they’ve come to expect.

However, a startling revelation about the name chosen for Vincent’s and Anna’s expected child becomes the catalyst for a destructive argument which spirals hysterically out of control. Tonight no one is holding back! Egos, childish resentment and unspoken feelings are relentlessly and hilariously exposed for the first time.

Set in a loft conversion in Peckham, What’s In a Name is a relatable and thought-provoking comedy that provides plenty of laugh out loud moments, particularly in the second half. What begins as a discussion about names (with Gooseberry and Apollinaire being the rather more tame offerings) quickly descends into opposing views, and hurt feelings within thirty years of their relationships, accompanied by a Moroccan dinner menu. Inbetweeners actor was wonderful as the rather smug Vincent. Partially narrating the show as well as performing, he is witty, sharp and a great lead. The cast work incredibly well together, with Laura Patch as Elizabeth and Miranda’s Bo Poraj as Peter perfectly representing a married couple, Louise Marwood as the surprising Anna, Vincent’s partner, and Alex Gaumond as the reluctant Carl.

The set, cleverly designed by Francis O’Connor, is created to allow all of the rooms in the house to be seen at once, including a staircase to the first floor. There is a wonderful attention to detail within the rooms, and we particularly loved the bookcases.

Take a seat at the table for a riotously funny evening that questions whether a person’s name truly reflects who they are. Witty, fun and well-performed, this is definitely a show to see!

What’s In a Name will be on stage at the Alexandra Theatre until Saturday 14th March. To purchase your tickets, visit here.

Review by Steph Allman and Martina D’Oriano

4 thoughts on “Review: What’s In a Name? at the Alexandra Theatre

  1. Is the Francis O’Connor you mention the woman actress who was in the movie AI – Artificial Intelligence? She’s a wonderful actress.

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