REVIEW BY JASMINE MCLENNAN
Expect to laugh, cry, squirm and reminisce while watching LoveBites by James Millar and Peter Rutherford. And love does bite in this show, it hurts and it’s mean and it sucks but the overall message in this ‘song cycle’ is that real love is about loving someone ‘warts and all’.
The show is constructed of two acts, with six scenes or relationships in each. Act one shows each couple falling in love. Act two explains how each relationship ended up. The entire production is sung. Millar’s lyrics are charming, poignant and very clever. The composition, written and performed by Peter Rutherford gives the words meaning and strength. James Millar, author of Hatpin, is one of the four actors in the show (each of whom play multiple parts) as well as the writer of the lyrics.
‘I feel most comfortable working with comedy,’ says Millar, ‘LoveBites is an observation of relationships from my perspective and experience as a 28 year old male.’ But LoveBites is definitely not just a comedy, or a drama. It’s not quite a musical either. ‘What’s happening off Broadway now is a trend for composers to present their songs calling them a ‘song cycle’,’ says James. ‘Song cycles are a musical exploration of a particular theme or story.’
Sarah Croser (Bat Boy, The Barber of Seville) plays an airhostess; Annie Pluck ‘with very bad luck’ and a florist who is given a single poppy by an admirer. ‘Each relationship in the show is very distinct from the other. For the audience, this means everyone is sure to relate to an element of the performance and connect it with their own experiences of love,’ says Croser, ‘we take the audience on a journey.’ LoveBites is an intimate, touching series of songs about the joys and pain of love. ‘Love, make me lift-off, but keep my feet on the ground’.but love, never leave me without a friend.’
Until 12 July
Tues ‘ Sat 8pm, Saturday 5pm
Downstairs Theatre, Seymour Centre, Cnr Cleveland St & City Road, Chippendale
Tickets: $32-39, 9351 7940, www.seymourcentre.com.au