REVIEW: LOVE LIES (Hope Theatre)

LOVE LIES is the latest offering from LEMAD theatre following their sell out show, SNAPSHOTS, at the Rosemary Branch in May 2015. Formed in 2015, LEMAD theatre are Liz Mead, Elizabeth Rutherford-Johnson, Mari Lloyd, MaryAnn Pashigian and Daphne Peña who met on a play writing course.

Love Lies is a collection of short plays written by the five members of the collective on the theme of love (and lies), all in just over an hour.

There are no slushy stories here; this is the darker side of love and relationships. In ‘What Friends Are For’, Cath and Anne relieve the tedium of their jobs on the hospital switchboard by unpicking their colleague’s love life. ‘Catfish’ tells the tale of a mother and daughter’s adventures in the dark side of online dating. ‘Half’ shows a middle-aged couple’s marriage fall apart before our eyes. In ‘Lovefall’ it’s hard to tell who’s playing who in Sveta and Ben’s relationship. ‘Reel Love’ is the tale of a Hollywood producer seeking to rekindle his fortunes with his muse.

All five plays have two or three characters and these are all played by a cast of five, three women and two men, who take on multiple roles. Short plays need actors who can quickly connect with the audience and establish their characters quickly and convincingly; this cast rise to the challenge.

These plays are all about the characters and their relationships as developed through the writing; the sets are simple and functional. The set changes are done quickly in blackout as the scene is set for the next play.

Love Lies plays for two more nights (24th and 25th April). It’s well worth making a trip to the Hope Theatre to eavesdrop on other people’s relationships.

Reviewed by Rhiannon Evans
Photo: Liz Mead