I love to see new and innovative pieces of theatre. Pieces where I cannot begin to fathom the levels and depths of the creator; where things are so painfully original that my mind goes into overload. Love Song Dedications is nothing like this. Delving into universal themes of life, love and foreplay, the play guides the audience through a number of all too familiar situations.
The ensemble of actors all portrayed different types that are nothing short of predictable. We have seen the Groupie, the lonely guy, the Rebound Girl and the Goth many times before. But what struck me about Stephen Vagg’s adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde, was that the stereotypes felt incredibly fresh and likeable. The performances on a whole were not incredibly complex or layered, though they did each have their moments, and thus it was a joyous show to watch.
Often when I see a show there are actors who shine, and those that fade into the background. But in this case, the cast all seem to be memorable. As an ensemble they worked very well together. The pace and flow of the show was perfect. This made the show very easy to watch. There were moments when I was close to losing interest or when the measures of a scene were too extreme to believe, but the writing itself allows you to ignore these moments. It seems Vagg has a talent for inventing comedic phrases to spew out the mouths of his love obsessed characters which made the audience snigger, giggle and belt out in boisterous laughter.
I have to mention the stage design of Timothy Wallace because from start to finish I was intrigued. His very simple and elegant design consisted of a small number of furniture items, embellished with extra trimmings that sparked my interest. From the chandelier covered in notes, to the “romantic” satin-sheet bed that was centred on the stage. He can be commended for his work, as this very practical set was not only essential to every scene that graced the stage, but exciting to watch unfold throughout the show.
What I essentially loved about this show though, was the atmosphere, the intimate setting of the metro arts studio, the love song soundtrack, and the dedications. There were times when the show lacked originality in the writing and in the acting. But what I realized over and above everything was that I enjoyed myself. It is important to have a laugh at life, and that is exactly what I think this show achieved.
want to mention also is that, despite my declaration that this play is
full of humor, the darker layers of each scene did not go unnoticed.
Love hurts at times, but how much more wonderful to recognize this
through laughter. The show progressed in such a way that we saw two
sides to every character and this was a great dynamic. Not only did we
see the losers suffer, but the winners too and the way that the story
came full-circle, was subtly satisfying. All in all it was a great
show, that I would recommend people go and see for a zesty, and cheeky
look at life, love and, well, foreplay.
Love Song Dedications
by Stephen Vagg, based on La Ronde by Arthur Schnitzler
Venue: Studio, Metro Arts, 109 Edward St, Brisbane
Dates: Sept 27 - Oct 6
Times: Tues-Thurs, Sat 8pm, Fri 7:30pm and 10pm, preview Sept 26
Tickets: $20 adult, $16 conc/preview/groups 10+
Bookings: (07) 3002 7100 or www.metroarts.com.au