REVIEW: Love and Information || Hand In Hand Theatre
Love and Information
Review by Lorna Mackie
July 18, 2019
I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of Hand in Hand Theatre’s production of the fascinating work Love and Information, by Caryl Churchill at the Subiaco Arts Centre Studio space.
Love and Information is a unique work, with almost 80 scenes in the script for the director to choose from. There are no character descriptions, no names, no thread of storyline, no recurring themes or narratives; the genius of the work is that the author requires the director and actors to work as a true ensemble, workshopping and co-authoring a narrative by selecting scenes that fit with the world and message that they would like to create. The scenes themselves vary from those with no dialogue at all, to fully fleshed out scenes with an entire family reminiscing about their parents’ weddings.
A true ensemble piece, the 8-person cast are all very strong and move fluidly between more than 100 characters. Special mention must go to Domenic Scriva, Philip Hutton and Caroline McDonnell for the authenticity, depth of emotion and variety of characterisation they brought to all of the characters they portrayed.
The play is staged by director Claire Mosel-Crossley with a just a series of movable white art blocks, rearranged to create the different scenes, some custom-projections developed for the production and a simple but effective lighting design. Nashy Mz provides some contemporary dance and movement in the transitions between the sections of the play that breaks up the intense barrage of scenes (some of which are less than 30 seconds long).
Experiencing the show as an audience member, it provokes a range of emotion, and transitions through the scenes so quickly that sometimes you realise that you have missed some key points; it can be a little overwhelming. The message of Love and Information is somewhat (perhaps deliberately?) confusing, exploring the ways that people communicate, connect and share information in our modern age. The play does not draw any conclusion; the “point” is up to the audience to interpret.
Overall, this is an interesting and unique production that will make audiences think. Playing at Subiaco Arts Centre 18 July – 27 July tickets are available from https://www.ptt.wa.gov.au/venues/subiaco-arts-centre/whats-on/love-and-information/.