Gareth spoke to LLLC’s Emma Clarendon about starring in Romantics Anonymous.

(c)Steve Tanner.

Hi Gareth, for those who haven’t seen the show what is Romantics Anonymous about? It’s essentially a love story set in France – but with a difference. It centres around a young man and woman – he’s the owner of a chocolate factory and she is a brilliant chocolate maker – who fall in
love. But both suffer from a crippling shyness and social insecurity. They have problems touching (even shaking hands) and she even has a problem with people looking at her. They have to overcome these problems in order to have a successful relationship. They do this partly by going to a
self-help group where the participants share their social problems which is both moving and hysterical!

How are you feeling about being part of the production? Well I was in the original production two years ago at The Globe and jumped at the chance to be a part of it again!

What stood out for you about the story when you first read it? What an unusual love story it is. When I finished reading it I just thought…..there’s a bit of me in there!

How have rehearsals been going? Really good. There are only a few of us from the original production at The Globe but the new cast
are flying! Every time I work with Emma the rehearsal room is always full of fun which is essential in order to produce the best work.

What are you most looking forward to about being part of the production? Apart from playing three wonderful characters – who I’ve missed a lot over the past 2 years! – after our run in Bristol (18th January to the 1st February) we tour  America for eleven weeks in LA, Washington and
South Carolina. So I’m looking forward to seeing how our American friends react to the show.

It has proved popular with audiences in London when it was at the Shakespeare’s Globe afew years ago. But what would you say makes Romantics Anonymous a special show? It’s special because the show is SO moving and SO funny. Everyone person on this earth can identify
with the characters – I think we all suffer to varying degrees from the characters’ problems.

If you had to describe the show what would you say?It’s a show brimming with life and huge joy!

By Emma Clarendon

Romantics Anonymous will play at the Bristol Old Vic from the 18th January until the 1st February.