Review: Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?

Munira Rajkotwalla 31 January 2019
Image Credit: Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? via Facebook

★★★

Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? is a unique play in that it both does and does not have much of a plot. On the surface, the play does not seem to feature much more than two intoxicated men sitting on a couch and throwing words about, occasionally stopping to have casual sex. The simple one room stage set up reflects this. Look a bit deeper, however, and the whole play becomes a vehement extended political metaphor.

Like much of fringe theatre, the play makes sparse use of technical elements. The stage is bare except for a couch, table and desk. The two-person cast is introduced immediately, in a powerful exposition. The play features two men – Sam (a country) and Guy (a man). Aptly named, we soon learn that the two are to represent the USA and Britain (or the “average” man, in some interpretations). Sam (Henry Eaton-Mercer) is powerful; he struts about the stage, demonstrating his loud personality with a (very well pulled off) American accent. Guy, who stumbles into the first scene with the titular lines – “I’m drunk enough to say I love you”, has left his wife and children to be with Sam. Guy is a soft spoken, almost submissive, man who we learn is infatuated with Sam.

The bulk of the play presents the two entangled in a fast-paced, fragmented conversation that conveys American foreign policy after the Vietnam war and draws the relationship between America and a “guy” – first intoxicating and then slowly consumed by guilt and disgust. As they rapidly make foreign policy decisions, decide to kill some people and spare others, you see the two fall in and out of love. By personifying nations and trivializing weighty political decisions, the play frames politics as a personal affair.

Overall, the charm of Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? lies in its witty and entrancing script. Both actors do a phenomenal job in its execution. However, if you’re looking for a late-night show to unwind to, this play, with its layers of (often rather depressing) meaning, may not be the one for you.