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27th March 2017

Review: Lovesong

Part of The University of Manchester Drama Society’s MIFTAs season, this play highlights how important time is and has fast things can change

A play by Abi Morgan

Lovesong tells the tragic love story of Maggie and Billy at two very different times of their life, with this play set across the 40 years of Maggie and Billy’s marriage.

This stunning production portrayed both the highs and the lows of this, from the whirlwind of excitement following their emigration to America to the very end, a time of darkness that very much contrasts what they once had and who they once were, and the very final decision that Maggie decides to make.

This entire play was wonderfully and professionally performed by all four of the actors involved, with the young versions and the older versions of the lovers entwining and crossing paths, the present and the past co-exist on stage alongside each other. The transition was beautifully captured, and enabled the audience to understand further the changing nature of the love story unfolding before them.

By mirroring scenes the director, Bradley White, was able to truly show the how the relationship had changed in a very raw and realistic way. The inclusion of physical theatre moved me; it opened up for a wider understanding of the symbolism that was present throughout the entirety of the play.

These visually powerful moments captured the couple over the years, with the younger smooth skinned versions and the old, cynical versions facing each other, the audience can’t help but pity them. We share their fears of “facing one another over a cooling cup of coffee with nothing left to say”.

Particularly moving scenes came from some of the most satire moments, with the audience laughing at the old man Billy had become, played by Oliver Maynard. However, these satire moments often turned into moments filled with emotion, capturing perfectly the vulnerability of the lovers as their lives and their relationship as they knew it slowly slipped away before them.

The presentation and manipulation of time and the idea of time slipping away is present throughout the entirety of the play, with time being a worry on everyone’s mind, the play became more personal and consequentially more emotional.

I thoroughly enjoyed this play; all of the actors gave professional and heart-breaking performances. Walking away from it I felt that time really is of the essence, and the importance of not letting time slip away uncontrollably before you really is something we must all remember.

Lovesong is beautiful, honest and real. After the final scene was over and the audience were struck back into reality, I think it was safe to say there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Directed by Bradley White
Assistant director- Joe Large
Producer- Jess Harkin
Old Billy- Oliver Maynard
Old Maggie- Pip Franks
Young Maggie/ Margaret- Emily Tandy
Young Billy/ William- Sam Ebner-Landy

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