Songs for Modern Loving by Helen Arney…

I’ve just found out that Newport is twinned with Guangxi Province in China. Well I never, that is absolutely superb. I hope some of you get together each summer holidays and swap Pokemon, or whatever it is kids do on exchange trips nowadays. It sounds like the people of Newport enjoy unusual twinnings, which is good news because I’ve got one for you on Saturday. It’s “Songs for Modern Loving” a musical comedy show that matches twisted love ballads with the bottled-sunshine sound of the ukulele.

From revenge fantasies about Carol Vorderman and a marriage proposal gone horribly wrong, to scientifically accurate songs about the mating habits of animals and the classic “isn’t it great that we stayed together for the sake of the children?” there’s something for everyone who has ever been in a relationship.

I wrote this show for the Edinburgh Fringe last year, and at the time I wasn’t over the moon about this thing David Bowie calls “Modern Love”. There’s nothing quite like a lifetime of failed relationships and unrequited love to give you something to write about… The problem now is that since last year I’ve found a lovely partner. He’s great. Perfect, even. I’m so happy I make myself sick. I’m as smug as a bug in a rug, which isn’t that smug, so I’m like that but with an extra dose of smug on top. I’m displaying all the loved-up coupleness that I used to despise, the kind that made me want to put weedkiller into their shared cup of tea. I’m not sure I’ll ever pen a vitriolic anti-love song again.

I’m now just hoping that everyone else’s relationships starts falling apart, so I have something to sing about in Edinburgh next year. Here’s an idea. Come along to the show with your partner (Saturday, 6.30pm at the pop up venue) and pretend to break up right at the end. You’d better make it spectacular, the room is done up like a space ship, I don’t want any of that boring “we need to talk” rubbish. Bring something fairly soft to throw at your partner, and some brilliant insults to shout at them.

If everyone does it, I should have enough material for new shows until Comedy Port 2025…

Helen is co-hosting Sessions on Friday evening, and her solo show is at 6.30 on Saturday in URBAN Empty Shops, 21-22 John Frost Square. Grab tickets to see Helen Arney here!  

Listen to songs at: Watch my animated video: On Radio 4 this week:


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