Lovecraft (Not the Sex Shop in Cardiff)
- Clare McVay
- 5 August 2018
A show with a heart, intelligence and a slightly garbled brain
Lovecraft aims to bring people together by explaining the science of love. This one-woman performance by Carys Eleri promises to explain how understanding the brain can help us tackle loneliness, and fight the growing isolation epidemic. It's a noble idea, and one which is obviously backed-up by a lot of research (there is a reading list handed out!). Like a Brian Cox of love, Eleri's explanation of how the brain works and the chemicals it releases in different love-related situations is insightful, and comforting.
Moreover the frankness and honesty of her stories creates a sense of intimacy and complicity. As Eleri confides her personal history of past relationships, the audience nod, groan, and laugh with recognition and sympathy (there's a lot of shared pain over Tinder in particular).
But the many post-breakup songs which punctuate the wry storytelling are given too much of a centre stage here, and in the end leave little time to tie the lesson together, nor answer the key questions posed at the start. Nonetheless, it seems Eleri genuinely cares, and the audience leave feeling closer to one another than when they first sat down.
Summerhall, until 26 Aug (not 6,13, 20), 9pm, £15 (£12).