LOVE AND INFORMATION
08/11/2013 - 16/11/2013
Someone has a secret, another can’t sleep, there’s a reception problem, someone is having an affair, one wants his sister back, one wants an answer, someone thinks they’ve won an argument, another dreams of infidelity symbols, one refuses to answer the door, one hears God’s voice, one can’t remember anything about the wedding, one can’t not remember everything, former lovers can’t recall the same things, others want a memory technique, someone forgets dinner, someone can’t forget, someone hasn’t bought the rash cream, one can’t have children, one can’t say sorry, one is frightened about climate, one can’t make a decision, one can’t feel pain, one loves virtually, one knows the sound a capercaillie makes.
18 actors perform over a hundred characters in an episodic kaleidoscope exploring the way human beings process information and feelings.
Playhouse, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, Hamilton
8th – 16th November, 7:30pm
Tickets: Adult $25 | Concession/Groups $22 | Student $18
Bookings: www.ticketek.co.nz | 0800 TICKETEK
Booking fees may apply
For more info, please visit: www.carvinginice.co.nz
Arresting and touching
Review by Jan-Maree Franicevic 09th Nov 2013
The main auditorium at The Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts is humming with the unmistakeable energy of an opening night crowd, one that I suspect is made up of hard core Carving in Ice Theatre Company fans. I know relatively little of their previous work, and even less of the play I am here to see.
To be honest I am late arriving so do not get the chance to look at my copy of the programme. Imagine my surprise as the lights dim and the music starts and what unfolds is about as different, powerful, arresting and provocative as anything I have ever seen.
Caryl Churchill is well known for her unique approach to writing and Love and Information only serves as a testament to the fact. This is only the second time that the play has been staged since it premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in September last year so there is really some strong invention from artistic director Gaye Pool in the presentation of this work.
Love and Information is a series of fifty six short scenes (30 seconds to a couple of minutes in length) presented by a mixed age cast of eighteen players. A wide range of subjects is covered in these scenes, which are all unified as a discussion of the theme: love and information; the very means by which we communicate our deepest desire to be loved, to be understood.
Cancer, redundancy, depression, fandom, broken relationships, affairs, the very simple act of playing fetch with a dog in the park … The scenes are seamlessly stitched together with a haunting piece of music (no mention in the programme of where this music comes from but it is eerily fitting, so much so that I ask my companion if he thinks perhaps the music came with the script). A crew of soundless stage hands bring props in and out of each simply (and sparklingly) well lit stage area showing a real awareness of how important the production values are in a piece like this.
I am arrested from the very get-go. Both my companion and I are deeply touched by several of the scenes. For me watching WIFE is one example of pure pain. A husband (Clive Lamdin) with Alzheimer’s/dementia no longer recognises his wife (Julia Watkins). This strikes right to my core, as my grandmother fell to this dreadful disease and the scene is played so well that I am taken immediately back to that same experience with her.
The tears flow on more than one occasion. I venture that one would have to be made of stone to emerge from this show with dry eyes and nothing to think about.
Gaye Pool explains in her notes that in March, when the first pre-casting readings took place, every short scene meant something different depending on who read it. And certainly it shows that there has been some real consideration of how to couple together the players to get the very moment of each small message across. This is crucial, as each apparently random scene relies heavily on the delivery, which by and large is outstanding.
Mention must be made of Mihailo Ladjevac and Antony Aiono who shine in a cast of exceptional players. Churchill does not give any information on how to cast the play, omitting ages, gender, locations and dates from her script so I find it a little disappointing that the few references to any locations are not changed to make the show feel more local, which I personally would have liked to see.
I didn’t realise it walking into the room last night, but I should have prepared myself for being wowed. And in many ways I have struggled to find the words to convey just how wowed I was. This piece of theatre simply must be seen. And am I thrilled that I have found Carving in Ice Theatre Company who have won a firm fan in me for presenting this very powerful piece of theatre which not only captures but superbly delivers so much of the true nature of love, and information.
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