Love Love Love is a production littered with drink, fags, family dysfunctions and politics.
Last night, the infamous new Mike Bartlett play opened at Curve in Leicester. I had high expectations following reviews in the national press but it somehow didn’t live up to the hype.
It’s 1967; Kenneth (Ben Addis) and Sandra (Lisa Jackson) know the world is changing. And they want some of it.
Love, Love, Love takes on the baby boomer generation as it retires, and finds it full of trouble. Smoking, drinking, ambitious and paranoid, one couple’s forty-year journey from initial burst to full bloom. Drawing its title from the hippy-era-defining Beatles classic All You Need is Love, the show tells a story that will be familiar to many; a tale of luck, opportunity, freedom, achieving goals and having hopes and dreams dashed.
The show was performed in three acts to allow them to change the set to fit which era they were in.
If you’re interested in finding out how the set is put together then stay in your seats during the interval as they don’t pull the curtains down in the studio so you get see all that happens behind-the-scenes.
One of the biggest grievances I have with the play is that there are no loveable characters. The portrayal of Ken and Sandra shows them in a very selfish light and their offspring grow-up surrounded by booze, nicotine and shouting and the effects on their personalities in notable in the final act.
I presumed the show would have a lot of humour but from the first act all I could see was forced comedic actions.
The second and third half of the show certainly picked up the pace and drew the audience into the story. Although the characters lacked depth, the story was enjoyable.
My favourite scene of the night was in the final act. The parents are old and so are their offspring. The daughter, Rose (Rosie Wyatt) finally lets out her repressed feelings towards her dismissive parents.
“Look at you…”if you can remember the sixties you weren’t really there”. What a smug f***ing little thing to say. You didn’t change the world, you bought it. Privatised it. What did you stand for? Peace? Love? Nothing except being able to do whatever the f*** you wanted.”
It was at this moment I got goose bumps. The anger, the passion and the velocity of Rose’s words were huge.
I found it difficult to tolerate Ken and Sandra at all and I’m not sure if that was to do with the class that they were reflecting. The pair went to Oxford and had very traditional English accents.
But what I did love about the pair is that both Lisa Jackson who played Sandra and Ben Addis who played Ken were able to play the characters as whimsical teenagers, middle-aged workaholic parents and as a more humble version of their former selves in the final act.
The costumes for the pair were a true reflection of how someone from that era would have looked then and now, which gave the story a real edge.
If you were a teenager in the 60s or know people that were then you might enjoy this play.
To book tickets visit http://www.curveonline.co.uk/
Runs until Saturday March 26.