6 April 2018

Lovebites at White Bear Theatre was pure gold

White Bear Theatre is one of my nearest theatres and thanks to its inventive and varied programming it is one of the ones that I go to most regularly. I had not seen a musical there before and it took the suggestion of something “hilarious and heartbreaking” to make me want to see Lovebites. At £16 there was no further discussion required.

The hard part proved to be getting there. Despite putting it my calendar correctly as a 7pm start I then forgot this and allowed myself to attend a work meeting that did not finish until 6pm (on a Friday!). Some panicking followed but thanks to some seriously brisk walking from Vauxhall station I got to the theatre with seconds to spare.

I called Lovebites a musical and while that is true it also called itself a song cycle which is more true. Lovebites told the story of several relationships in a series of songs; there was one song for each relationship showing how it started and another after the interval showing how it ended. There were no spoken words.

The many parts were played by a cast of just four, two men and two women, supported by a lone pianist. A small platform from which some lovely stories flourished.

There was a good mix to the stories too; a young woman pretended to be into rock climbing to be with a man she fancied only to confess to us that she could barely walk, two young men met at a book club, a film star hooked up with an air stewardess on a flight, a man fell in love with a woman on the day she married his boss, one woman bought a flower for the woman who owned the flower shop, and a woman did something deeply embarrassing after a one-night stand that she wanted to build on.

After the interval some of the relationships flourished, some faded, some died, one had a surprise happy ending and another had a very surprising happy ending. The stories were varied in tone and the "hilarious and heartbreaking" clam was easily justified. I would also add "charming" for the stories that ended somewhere between those two extremes and "realistic" too as these were very human stories not rom-com fantasies.

All of the songs worked well both as vehicles to tell the stories and as works of music in their own right.

Lovebites was an unusual and unexpected show that delighted me in everything that it did. It was pure gold.

No comments:

Post a comment

All comments are welcome. Comments are moderated only to keep out the spammers and all valid comments are published, even those that I disagree with!