LIMINAL Events announced their arrival on Hereford’s theatrical landscape in great style last week.

The company’s first production, My Romantic History, combined a great script by Scottish playwright D.C.Jackson, with four impressive performances from Richard Gooch, Naomi Dale Cook, Billy Herrin and Sophie Armstrong.

Bitter-sweet, tragi-comic - you choose the oxymoron - My Romantic History clinically dissects an office romance that’s woefully short on romance, but saturated in despair and inertia as the office becomes the last chance saloon for the unattached and romantically hopeless.

Tom, played with conviction and total credibility by Richard Gooch, starts a new job and instantly finds himself a target for single female members of staff. One minute he’s accepted an invitation to drinks after work, by the next morning he’s in a relationship with Amy, given just the right edge of desperation, neediness and clear-sighted steel by Naomi Dale-Cook.

Lacking the backbone to end it, Tom adopts instead a ‘passive-aggressive’ stance, hoping she’ll be the one to call time on their pairing.

But that’s just Tom’s side of the story ... and having heard that, we see the relationship played out rather differently as Amy offers her version of events, where the words are the same, but the meaning is very different - feeling trapped, he says he wants to spend the night at his flat, she says what time, and he is forced to reveal that he means alone. The same exchange in Amy’s re-telling shows her equally desperate for time alone, not desperate to be with him, as he’s read it.

Billy Herrin and Sophie Armstrong meanwhile take on all the supporting roles - from Tom’s granny (Billy) and mum, to the former partners seen through the very rose-tinted spectacles their present unsatisfactory coupling has lent them. Billy plays the spiritually aware and unworldly Calvin Kennedy, the love of Amy’s life, securing a good percentage of the many laughs on offer, while Sophie metamorphoses from the ditzy Sasha we meet in the office into the hard-edged Alison Hamilton, the love of Tom’s.

Just as Tom and Amy wake up to their total incompatibility, they find they’re more entangled than either of them wants. There’s no happy ending here, no sudden walk into the sunset, but there is perhaps the possibility of something real.

Directed by Mia Gordon, this was a genuinely moving and exciting first outing for a company that surely has a great future on the Hereford stage.