Love Songs (3 stars)

This article is from 2018

Love Songs

credit: Katt Webster

Sincere points raised through a distracting concoction of art forms

Written and performed by Alissa Anne Jeun Yi of Trip Hazards theatre, girl power is felt throughout Love Songs and the #MeToo conversation is persistently present. This is an autobiographical show documenting Alissa's dealings with sexuality and, trenchantly, following an act of sexual assault. Intelligently comic remarks are dished out calling into question Hollywood standards, sex education in schools and slut shaming. Sincere points are raised through a distractingly energetic concoction of rap, poetry, dance and props.

This is a story filled with firsts; first friends, first fears, first loves, first kisses and first sexual encounters. The show's coming of age theme is immediately revealed and boys (as a collective) play an omnipresent character throughout.

The show takes a linear format and various ages of the protagonist are signified with highly relatable stereotypes of awkward youths, university rahs and egotistical nobodies coming together in numerous not-so-glamorous dance floor scenes. Alissa's over dramatised persona oscillates between insecure and self-assured in line with the ever-fluctuating mood of the piece that is hard to keep up with. A soundtrack of pop earworms ties things together whilst inciting a unique blend of nostalgia and a relief; relief that those highly-strung teen years are over.

Though relatable nuisances are present and the show intends to explore the political puzzles of 'our' love lives, this is undoubtedly a personal account of an act that has thankfully in recent years sparked a long overdue global conversation. A sense of the woman behind the facade shines through in multiple moments and when the finale arrives Alissa breaks the fourth wall to speak frankly of her sexual assault. This sincere moment in which you are asked to breathe and stand with her is where the show's strengths lie.

Underbelly Cowgate until 26 Aug (not 15), 2:40pm, £10–£11.

Love Songs

  • 3 stars

Trip Hazards presents Alissa Anne Jeun Yi Mixing get-on-the-dance-floor music, rap and spoken word, Love Songs explores the personal and political puzzles of our love lives through the autobiographical poems of a hopeless romantic. A classic tale of classroom crushes and awkward bedroom encounters; a cautionary guidebook…