Loveplay | Perth Theatre Companyl-r Kingsley Reeve & Andrea Gibbs. Photo - Ashley de Prazer

could be called Hate-play, Envy-play, Lust-play, Jealousy-play or Greed-play; all the emotions that aren’t always right to feel, but feel so good, are exhibited in PTC’s production - a medley (of sorts) of 13 short scenes of love and it’s mistakes over 2000 years of British history.

Now, Australians doing British accents are not always the most distinguished or polished of things but this isn’t the actors fault. It’s not our fault our voices stick out like sore thumbs, but this is the way things are.

Sarah Borg is definitely the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. From where I was sitting – near to the top of the venue – she looks like a little doll. Sarah has lovely body awareness and works her size well from the sneaky pregnant wife to the tiny, angry lesbian. This bubbly little thing just gave off an explosion of energy through the whole production. Andrea Gibbs was also very good – her best moments coming when she plays next to Borg in the final scene.

Every scene is set on the same piece of land and we see how it (starting as a Roman latrine and ending as a spunky new apartment), the people, the society and the contexts and acceptable behaviour of life evolves and changes over the years.

While the nudity in Loveplay was well executed (can the removal of clothes be well executed?) there did seem to be some discomfort on the actor’s behalf which was not acting. While I do agree that taking your clothes off in front of a new audience every night would be nerve-wracking, and the scene did call for a nervous man removing his clothes, you still have to own it – after all, it’s going to be happening every night for the rest of the season.

This is a funny play – but not funny all the time, which is a very good thing. Love isn’t always funny. It’s used, abused, laughed at, thought about, people are confused over it, killed over it and set up to it. This is how life is with love, and this is how it’s shown to be – very skilfully – in Loveplay. I wouldn’t however, suggest that the people of Perth try to pay working girls with chooks. Take note from the brave Roman man in the first scene and use dollars instead.

The only gripe I have is that Loveplay could easily left to end at the modern dating/set-up scene and that the slightly sickly sweet final touch of red lights and “All you need is love” (a song now associated with Hugh Grant and Colin Firth in the film “Love Actually”) could have been ditched. Or maybe it could have ended with the Tenants’ song “You shit me to tears”? Ha ha ha!

Despite this, Loveplay is an all round good romp.

Red Ryder Productions In Association with Perth Theatre Company
by Moira Buffini

Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA)
Dates: 15 September – 6 October
Times: Monday @ 6.30pm, Tuesday - Saturday @ 8.00pm
Special time: Saturday 29 September @ 5pm
Tickets: Full $31 / Conc $24 / Groups 6+ $26
Bookings: BOCS 9484 1133

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