Come February 14th, there may be some amongst us who feel more than a little sickened by the saccharine-sweet Hallmark version of love and romance that Valentines Day espouses. Willy Russell’s acerbic, bittersweet comedy Stags and Hens offers the perfect antidote. This magnificently vulgar assault on the threadbare idyll of young love and marriage is bursting with the witty and raucous humour for which Russell has become so well known (Educating Rita, Blood Brothers, Shirley Valentine). Observational, fearless and honest to the extreme, the play follows engaged couple Linda and Dave as they unwittingly roll up at the same seedy club for their stag and hen parties. Set to a rocking soundtrack of disco classics, the drama unfolds as old lovers appear, superstition rears its head, the drink flows and territory is marked. Directed by Ronan Wilmot, this fresh new production has been transposed into early 1980’s Dublin from its original setting of 1970’s Liverpool. Court in Liverpool in February 2008. Stags and Hens opens at New Theatre on February 16th. Tickets are priced between €15 and €20.