Couple explore marriage through made-up language at Horsham’s Capitol

Crazy Glue. Picture by Alex Brenner
Crazy Glue. Picture by Alex Brenner

Crazy Glue is a wordless play about the mad, messy, sticky side of marriage told through physical comedy, mime and a 1930s soundtrack.

They’re a happy couple with a car in the garage, a chicken in the pot and a child on the way. But is that enough to make true love stick?

Crazy Glue. Picture by Alex Brenner

Crazy Glue. Picture by Alex Brenner

It comes to Horsham’s Capitol on October 2, performed by real-life couple Bradley Smith and Filipa Tomas who devised it.

“Basically it is a show about a husband and a wife and an American crisis!” Bradley says. “The show follows the couple from when they first meet to their marriage and through the thornier terrain of their life together once they get married. It asks the question: how far are they going to go to fix the relationship, which might seem beyond repair? There is a tragedy that happens…

“But the thing that makes it original is that the entire show is done through sound effects and the couple’s own made-up language. We don’t use the English language. It’s their own language and the sound effects, like when they go through their repeated patterns, the morning ritual, they turn on the sink, they wash their faces, she combs her hair and he shaves his face. We do their noises, but it is switching who does the noise.

“We created it. Two or three years ago, Filipa found a book of short stories on my book shelf. It was a book of short stories by Etgar Keret who wrote this three-page short story called Crazy Glue. She thought it was fascinating and was interested in seeing if we could do a stage version of it. It is only three pages so we had to create quite a lot of it because our show runs to an hour. It is still the key image and still the same title, but quite a lot of the rest of it has been reimagined.

“One of the things we were interested in from the outset was to create a piece that would be accessible regardless of nationality and mother tongue. We were wanting to make something that could tour internationally. We wanted to have an international story told in an innovative way. We set ourselves that guideline, how much can we do without language, and we realised we could do it with our own language and sound effects. We speak in a made-up language, but you get the meaning from the tone and the intonation…”

Bradley has lived in the UK for the past eight years: “I am originally from the US. I was born in Minnesota and grew up in Iowa and Nebraska. I moved steadily eastwards. The last place I lived in the US was New York, and then I made the leap over the pond to London.”

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