Love and Information

Tue 26th – Sat 30th January 2016

reviews

Clare Cavenagh

at 23:34 on 26th Jan 2016

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Love and Information worked as a set of intriguing vignettes and sketches, some more complete than others, taken from ordinary and less ordinary conversations, set against an equally ambiguous backdrop of a couple in crisis. It rocketed between hilarious and heartbreaking at terrific speed, eliciting laughter, and then stunning the room into silence. The whole play remained impossible to pin down from beginning to end, but this was not a flaw. Once the audience had settled into its format, it was an entertaining and intriguing spectacle.

The interlocking scenes of the play operated on two levels. There was the constant action of a couple, played by Em Miles and Kate Wainer, which ran constantly in the background, and occasionally took over the stage completely, notably to kick start the performance, and to bring it to an end. The story, although ultimately left ambiguous, appeared to be a harrowing one, and both actors did a great job of maintaining their often low-key performance for the duration of the show. Running on top of these two ever-present characters, sitting in their living room, was another set of scenes and snatches of stories, this time presented by the rest of the cast, who were separated off from the underlying scene by their black costumes.

These scenes had an astonishing range. There were drunken and profound conversations, inappropriately timed explanations of the practical applications of sex, nervous breakdowns, and harrowing scenes of tragedy. Sometimes these moments lasted little more than a few seconds, giving almost no background or context, and sometimes they formed more complete stories. Each scene was separated by a little flickering of the stage lights, almost like the faults you get when you play an old film.

Love and Information asked the audience to be very flexible, and very accepting, constantly moving along with the flow, and sometimes following the action round very, very sharp corners. Comedy and tragedy were all managed wonderfully, and although some of the more harrowing of the scenes were difficult to watch, this was down to the audience's feeling of prying into something, rather than anything to do with direction or acting. If you're fine with not understanding every second of a show, and interested in seeing something you'll be mulling over for a while afterwards, I really recommend Love and Information.

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