Now many of you have probably already seen the film of Love Story or read the book, my mum had, I however last night went to see Love Story at the Duchess Theatre in Covent Garden having absolutely no idea what to expect at all! The Duchess theatre itself is a very small quaint theatre which is just adorable! We were in the Stalls which was a treat for me anyway as I’m used to being up in the circle normally, we were in row L and having forgotten my glasses I was glad we weren’t too far back. Whilst in our seats my Mum then warned me that it has quite an emotional ending, great, the one time I have no tissues in my bag! Typical!
There was a wide range of ages in the audience but I have to admit I did certainly feel the youngest, there were very few people my age, I’d say the majority were over 35.
The stage and the performance is extremely clever, with a cast of just 12 very talented actors and numerous costume changes as well as set changes but within the one set it was fascinating to watch. As you can see from my appauling picture at the back of the stage in white are the orchestra which is a small one consisting of a grand piano and a few string instruments. These guys remain there throughout the performance as there is no interval which I did find quite strange. According to my Mum the stage show is far more musical than the film but she seemed to like that. There are a couple of songs which come up time and time again and the cast have some amazing voices amongst them, not least their leads who play Oliver and DS1enny, played by Emma Williams and Michael Xavier.
The sypnosis reads
“Oliver Barrett IV went to Harvard and DS1enny Cavilleri to Radcliffe.
He was rich, she was poor. He was sporty, she played music.
But they fell in love. This is their story. A celebration of love and life, Love Story will win your heart. And it just might break it.”
Win my heart it did and break it too that is for sure! Throughout the performance you experience with the story a whole range of emotions and for me I found myself reflecting against a character who on stage I could see alot of myself in, I reckon DS1enny Cavilleri was a fellow Aquarian you know! As fiesty as I am thats for sure!
Emma and Michael have really got into their roles playing the lead characters and the chemistry between them is quite literally sizzling. Their first kiss left me rather dumb struck, more so because I’ve never seen such a passionate kiss on stage whilst being surrounded by a great deal of O.A.Ps! I wasn’t quite sure where to look! As the performance goes on it only gets hotter but I have to admit I wasn’t complaining seeing as both Emma and Michael are extremely good looking! They work well together and are central to almost every scene, their chemistry is comfortable and it draws you into the story, they work extremely well together.
Musically I was blown away, Emma is a fantastic pianist and does well as the upcoming pianist that is DS1enny, watching her play made me miss my piano dearly, I am dying to have it in my own home again.
As a stage production the only way to describe the performance is quite frankly mind blowing. Through lighting, costume and prop changes without even changing the set they move swiftly between the various scenes from their apartment, her fathers restaurant and the hospital yet the whole time the orchestra stay in place and no walls move. The performance was extremely clever and has been thought out fantastically by clearly some very talented people.
Love Story was originally performed at the Chichester Festival Theatre and moved to the West End in November 2010. Produced by Michael Ball, Adam Spiegel and Stephen Waley Cohen based upon the book written by Erich Segal this really is a production not to be missed. However make sure you take tissues! During the final 20 minutes I had tears streaming down my face and all around me I could hear sniffles and quiet sobs. Maybe they should supply tissues!
Love means never having to say you’re sorry.
Disclaimer: Tickets were received free in exchange for this review.