L.O.V.E (Volcano theatre)
Sherman Cymru (30.10.12)
What comes to mind when you think of Shakespeare’s Sonnets: Boredom? Sentimental romance? Or English lessons at school?
None of the above could be applied to L.O.V.E, the passionate production recreated by Volcano for the company’s 25th anniversary, based on the bard’s collection of classical poetry.
A winner of the 1993 Time Out Theatre Award, the red-blooded L.O.V.E still feels fresh and provocative, despite originally being produced 20 years ago.
A fusion of physical theatre, verse, songs and dance, expect to be surprised, challenged and at times bemused by this show.
I didn’t feel immersed from the start, but once the energetic performers started to interact with the audience I was drawn in— at this moment L.O.V.E really came alive (and left a few people blushing). It also features the most inventive use of a four poster bed I’ve ever seen.
Occasionally L.O.V.E felt repetitive, with the same sequences and sonnets performed several times. Also, I found the Shirley Bassey songs jarring, but perhaps as Volcano is Swansea-based they felt it was important to inject a Welsh flavour somewhere into the piece.
The production’s strength is that Shakespeare’s re-invented texts are given equal footing to the dynamic choreography, and are complimented by the frenetic action rather than smothered by it.
Volcano describes this work as “enduring and memorable”. I agree. You wouldn’t want to wait another 20 years to catch a unique experience like L.O.V.E again.
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