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Criterion Theatre
Lovesong (2020)
Written by Abi Morgan
Sat 14th March to Sat 21st March
Memory
Director – Christine Ingall
Production Photos
Cast
Billy – Rob Wootton
Maggie – Lilian McGrath
William – Johnny Smythe
Margaret – Colleen Hedley
Crew
Stage Manager – Anne-marie Greene
Wardrobe – Pam Coleman
Wardrobe – Elizabeth Stevens
Wardrobe – Rowena Tye
Wardrobe – Helen Elias
Assistant Director – Gennie Holmes
Prompt – Helen Williams
Rehearsal prompt – Andrew Sharpe
Props – Sally Patalong
Props – Erica Young
Props – Kerry Raynes
Sound Design – Steve Withers
Lighting Design – Sarah Basford
Lighting Operator – Karl Stafford
Lighting Operator – Fenella Kelly
Lighting Operator – Simon Sharpe
Lighting Operator – Paul Harrison
Set Design – Alan Fenn
Set Design – Simon Sharpe
Set Paint – Paul Chokran
Props – Helen McGowan
Set Build – Sarah Basford
Set Build – Izzy Cornwall
Set Build – Terry Cornwall
Set Build – Frances Dixon
Set Build – Christopher Hernon
Set Build – Terry Rahilly
Set Build – Judy Sharpe
Set Build – John Stanton
Set Build – Mandy Sutton
Set Build – Abigayil Tandy
Set Build – Michael Waterson
Set Paint – Judy Talbot
Set Paint – Abigayil Tandy
Set Paint – Linda Gregory
The Play

 

Lovesong intertwines a couple in their 20s with the same man and woman a lifetime later. Their past and present selves collide in this haunting and beautiful tale of togetherness. All relationships have their ups and downs; the optimism of youth becomes the wisdom of experience. Love is a leap of faith. A truly moving tale guaranteed to pull on your heart strings.

 

Please note that this production includes strobe lighting and smoking on stage.

 

Reviews

Time is not just of the essence; it is the essence of Abi Morgan’s play about the evolution of a marriage from the 1970s to the Noughties. Under Christine Ingall’s direction, the cast steer around the play’s potential for sentimentality... One of the most emotionally charged scenes comes when Lilian McGrath, who plays the older Maggie, buries her tearful face into the tiny cardigan of a neighbour’s baby. Johnny Smythe as William moves believably between the warmth of a young husband with an understandable passion for his new wife (Colleen Hedley) and the reflectiveness of one who becomes increasingly liverish as his dreams go down with regular swigs of vodka... Rob Wootton’s passions as the older Billy are rivetingly expressed... the love song of the play’s title has hardly been harmonious throughout. Yet some relationships survive against the odds, as the final scene shows all too touchingly.

Chris Arnot, Elementarywhatson.com

Reviews

 

Time is not just of the essence; it is the essence of Abi Morgan’s play about the evolution of a marriage from the 1970s to the Noughties. Margaret and William have evolved into Maggie and Bill over those four decades of love and laughter, bitterness and quarrelling.

How did the time fly by so quickly? That’s a question that those of us whove been in long-term relationships find ourselves asking as we face the prospect of our little lives being “rounded with a sleep”. Sooner than we imagined, perhaps, in current circumstances – although a healthy first-night audience at the Criterion were able to forget about the miseries of a pan-global virus for a while.  Any sniffling towards the end could be attributed to emotionally touching scenes. Under Christine Ingall’s direction, the cast steer around the play’s potential for sentimentality.

William and Margaret have moved to the United States full of hope and ambition. He becomes a dentist, she a librarian. Not a mother, however. One of the most emotionally charged scenes comes when Lilian McGrath, who plays the older Maggie, buries her tearful face into the tiny cardigan of a neighbour’s baby.

Johnny Smythe as William moves believably between the warmth of a young husband with an understandable passion for his new wife (Colleen Hedley) and the reflectiveness of one who becomes increasingly liverish as his dreams go down with regular swigs of vodka.

The marriage survives against the odds, however. Rob Wootton’s passions as the older Billy are rivetingly expressed through an emotionally charged and F-word filled speech. This is a man facing a future of “endless cans of salmon”, unwashed underwear and an empty bed as Maggie nears her end.

The set remains the same throughout. Same bed.Same sink and kitchen cupboards. Same black and white framed wedding photograph atop a cupboard of ‘70s vintage. The couple may have been on some exotic holidays over the years, but they’ve never moved on.

Out in the garden is the same peach tree. The four peaches beneath it may well be badly bruised, one imagines. And the starlings that squawk whenever the couple sit out there sound more raucous than ever.

Starlings never were renowned for their tuneful chirpings. And the love song of the play’s title has hardly been harmonious throughout. Yet some relationships survive against the odds, as the final scene shows all too touchingly.

Chris Arnot

 

 

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