Volcano Theatre, L.O.V.E.

Review in Issue 5-2 | Summer 1993

Volcano Theatre's attempt to bring Shakesperean sonnets up to date with a raunchy physical theatre treatment sounded promising. Two men and a woman grope and grapple together within the claustrophobia of a lustful 'ménage à trois'. Acrobatic lifts, throws and catches, punishing sequences repeated until exhaustion point, and psychological game-playing are all reminiscent of DV8, whose Nigel Charnock directs L.O.V.E.. Alongside the sweaty clinches, passages from the sonnets are recited, their occasional sloppy delivery leaving those unfamiliar with the texts none the wiser. The few sections where the text is less prominent tend to work better. For example, when one man is being teased by his female friend as they read a poem from his male lover, their friendly play eventually ending in a passionate embrace. The improvised dialogue here allows room for the scene to evolve its own dynamic and begins to reveal the subtlety of personality, so intrinsic to any sexual relationship. For the most part, however, the break-neck pace of the action leaves the quieter passages obscured, their potential for real dramatic and sexual tension unexplored. Despite energetic performances from the cast and imaginative direction from Charnock, this production has yet to erupt fully; the content molten but not red hot.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Apr 1993

This article in the magazine

Issue 5-2
p. 15