Love and Information

BATS Theatre, The Heyday Dome, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

19/05/2016 - 04/06/2016

Production Details

Because connection is everything 

Give me attention. Give me connection. Give me love. Give me information.

Caryl Churchill’s mind-bending whirlwind play Love and Information moves through 57 scenes like a channel surfer when nothing’s on TV. The characters – and there are over 100 of them – reach out to each other and push each other away. They shut down and open up. They are millionaires and refugees. Obsessed fans and school kids. They are tragic and hilarious. Broken and heroic. They are you and me.

“More than any other writer she has transformed the theatre into what it needs to be: a gymnasium that exercises the imagination, shakes up the moral sense, stretches the spirit” – London Times 

Caryl Churchill has “changed the language of theatre and very few playwrights do that” – Marius Von Mayerburg 

LOVE AND INFORMATION is funded via a Wellington City Council Arts and Culture grant while our first play FAR AWAY is supported by a grant from Wellington Creative Communities. 

BATS Theatre, The Dome
Thursday 18 May – Saturday 4 June 2016
8:30pm Tuesday-Saturday
For further information see:

Click here to see both shows in the Double Caryl Churchill Season for $35 full price and $25 concession! 

Bethany Petrovich, Eunji Park, Harriet Prebble, Ian Harcourt, James Cain, Keagan Carr Fransch, Merlin Connell-Nawalowalo, Niamh Vaughan, Perry Piercy, Simon Boyes, Sophia Elisabeth, Trae Te Wiki, Vanessa Rhodes, Waylon Edwards 

Production Manager/Lead Stage Manager: Neal Barber
Stage Managers: Devon Nuku, Jacob Brown
Rehearsal Stage Manager: Swati Bhatt
Assistant Director: Jacob Brown
Dramaturgy: Jacob Brown, Maria Jones
Lighting Designer/Operator: Joe Newman
Composer/Sound Designer: Ryan Smith
Sound Operator: Shannon Friday
Production Design – Costumes: Harriet Denby
Production Design – Set & Properties: Rachel Hilliar
Costume Sourcing Assistant: Lisa Kiyomoto-Fink
Set Builder – William Lockwood-Geek

Community Outreach Coordinator/Publicity Team Liaison: Clarissa Chandrahasen
Publicists: Caryl Illana, Jacob Brown,  Jane Arthur, Talia Carlisle 
Production Photographer: Philip Merry
Rehearsal Photographers: Mitchell Botting, Talia Carlisle
Publicity Video Editing and Motion Graphics: Chris Williamson
Marketing Design: Tabitha Arthur
Programme Design: Jane Arthur  

Thank you to our sponsors 
Stone Cutter Vineyards
Robert Malcolm Flooring

And our Funder
Wellington City Council 

Theatre ,

2 hrs

Poignantly mirrors contemporary experience of love and information

Review by Lena Fransham 20th May 2016

With approximately 57 scenes and 100 characters, Love and Information, directed by Tabitha Arthur,delivers a quick-fire – at times frenetic – pace, mostly very nifty transitions between diverse scenarios and an impressively smooth set of performances given the enormous number of scenes and characters.

All of this speed and scale contributes to the sense of overstimulation and information overload familiar to many of us affected by technology, media and modern life.

A funny opening scene involving a couple under a bed sheet and images of digital sperm sets a jubilant tone that continues throughout. The play goes on to examine, in its tiny narrative nutshells, everyday aspects of our human experience of the Information Age.

There is, thankfully, smart variation in the pacing and texture of the scenes, with some lovely use of sound and light (sound Ryan Smith, lighting Joe Newman). A mesmeric blue-lit dance by Waylon Edwards and Merlin Connell-Nawalowalo prefaces a scene in which one character claims that due to consulting a website on dream interpretation, he knows his partner is cheating and is therefore free to be unfaithful in return. The theme of individual interpretation of information, and how closely what we ‘know’ relates to what we want to be true, develops through several scenes.

There is a progression of vignettes about memory, from a man (Ian Harcourt, who is a comic delight) who remembers every detail of everything that he ever experienced, to a man (also Harcourt) who can’t remember anything and has to be reintroduced to his wife (Perry Piercy) every time he sees her.

There are stories about secrets and withholding information, dilemmas of free will and virtual love. We explore the making of meaning, the way we tell stories about everything and the way we can just lie down and contemplate a snail without making it mean anything.

Amongst the dizzying scene shifts we frequently return to a black-clad woman (Harriet Prebble) suddenly spotlighted in a frozen crowd. She looks so overwhelmed and you know exactly how she feels.

The excellent performances and polished dynamism are the necessary strengths of this very lengthy production. And while it humorously depicts some confronting realities of smart phones and social media, for instance, I don’t think either Churchill or Tabitha Arthur are trying for a heavy-handed message about the perils of information technology.

I understand that Churchill’s script gives few stage directions, no character attribution and a number of optional inclusions, allowing, I imagine, liberating amounts of creative fun in its presentation. And (this is just my interpretation) in consequence, the play is open-ended in feel, reflecting back to us some of the ways information, love, and our urges toward both currently shape our lives, and leaving it up to us to further reflect on what this means right now, what choices to make, and how we maintain our humanity and stay connected with each other through the maelstrom of information we are beset with daily.

It poignantly mirrors our experience, without overt moralising or value judgement. 


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