ALLERGIC TO LOVE curse of the 80s

The Grand, 69 Courtenay Place, Wellington

02/03/2017 - 04/03/2017

NZ Fringe Festival 2017 [reviewing supported by WCC]

Production Details

What would you do if you broke into song at the thought of love? What if you could only sing 80s rock ballads? Well come and witness the world premiere of this unusual tale of love told by a loud, live, rockband of misfits, ready to bring back the 80s!

The Grand, 69 Courtenay Place, Wellington
2 & 4 March 2017, 8:30pm
3 March 2017, 6 & 9pm 
TICKETS: $20/$15/$15 

Theatre , Rock Opera , Musical ,

Musicians keep the crowd excited and cheering throughout

Review by Donna Banicevich Gera 03rd Mar 2017

With the story of Romeo and Juliet at the source of its inspiration, Allergic to Love captures the imagination and plants you firmly into a back drop of 1980s rock. Part adaptation of the music we all know and part original work, the enjoyment to be had from this show depends purely on how you want to approach it.

Opening in Wellington last night as part of the Fringe Festival at The Grand in Courtenay Place, it was promoted as a theatre show. It does not however take place in a conventional venue, nor is it a traditional show. That said, it is in a place that really does suit this style of performance.

As you enter the room, to the sound of ‘I Want You to Love Me’ bouncing off the walls, you’re asked to write the name of your favourite rock star on a piece of paper and put it in a hat. Later men in leopard skin tights draw these names from the hat and perform adaptations of the nominated stars hits. Last night we were privy to renditions from Freddy Mercury, David Bowie, Michael Jackson and Prince.

The plot reveals lost love, relationship problems, Dr Love, and a magic potion – ‘to be or not to be’ – ‘to sing or not to sing’.

If the storyline is important to you you’ll need to be disciplined, listening hard in order to follow exactly what’s going on. If you just want to listen to the music though, you’re in for a treat. This is a group of very skilled talented musicians. I quote ‘luscious voice and chocolatey tones. ‘

The music and the band is the primary mode of delivery providing a framework to lean the narrative against. This combines with tongue in cheek humour, a bit of slap stick and throw away reflections on love, provoking the audience into fits of laughter as they perform. These artists deal with what it is to be human.

For me the strength of this show lies not in the story but in the greater subtlety of the premise surrounding love, and the ability of this group of musicians who keep the crowd excited and cheering throughout a complete hour of full on entertainment.

Finally, our Romeo spots a woman in the crowd who he thinks could be his next Juliet, and like any 80s show there is an encore. Enjoying jokes for the performance industry about APRA and the rules surrounding copyright, the crowd is enthusiastic, vibrant, and clearly enjoying themselves. Even the Mayor was there. 


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