Thursday, 16 May 2013

Anywhere Theatre Festival Review: Sans Love

Sans Love is the story of a young woman named Mercy who is surrounded by people afflicted with heartbreak. The loss of a grandmother, husband, girl-of-your-dreams, cat or the first love of your life leaves people desolated and hurting and perhaps never wanting to feel that way again. Enter Mercy. She has a special gift. She can ‘fix you’. She can take away the heartbreak; quite literally remove it from your body. The downside is that you will never love again. 

Sans Love is an utterly delightful and human piece of physical theatre. The cast of 7, including a chorus of 5, play off each other in a fast-talking, leaping, action-packed 70 minute investigation of love and loss and how we feel when love does not return.

Mercy is the protagonist but it’s the chorus that makes this story. Perfectly timed to interact with each other and the audience, they fling out lines and songs while throwing themselves all over the room. I particularly enjoyed their performance of the typical broken-hearted playlist. So accurate and sad but very funny. Each of the chorus members has been ‘healed’ by Mercy, a decision some are accepting of and others are purely angry about. They now surround her and help her in her treatments for the never-ending line of the broken-hearted.

Sans Love is playing in one room in an art gallery and the artwork on the wall, including some beautiful nude photographs, accounts for the shows’ ‘nudity’ rating. The set could be part of the exhibition proper, taking up the centre of the room, with props of the detritus of dates and relationship strung from the ceiling.

This is a clever, intricately-thought out show on a topic that everyone can relate to. You could feel the enjoyment amongst the audience, all huddled as we were on cushions on the floor, as we were made to laugh at the accuracy of the stages of heartbreak and get quietly depressed with the stories of loss that made each person choose to have their love removed.

Sans Love is being performed in Love Love Studio in the heart of Teneriffe, in a great spot if you want to have dinner / drink / dessert around the show.  Love Love Studio is one of those great random space that used to be a house and is now a bit run-down so it is now used as a gallery with a skate shop and probably a few other temporary residents as well. The current exhibition is suitably themed on love and loss.
Sans Love is a truly fun and clever piece of theatre. The sort of show you want friends to see and enjoy so they can understand the value of start-up theatre and initiatives such as ATF.

Review of Sans Love presented as part of the 2013 Anywhere Theatre Festival.

Tickets: All tickets $20
Dates: Wed 15 to Sat 18 May @ 7:30pm
Place: 27 Florence Street, Teneriffe, 4006
Duration: 70mins
Transport & Places of Interest: Love Love Studio is on the City Glider and 199 bus routes (stopping at Commercial Road) and is less than a 400-metre walk from the Teneriffe ferry terminal.

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