Untitled Love Story
Stories of love and loss that fail to catch fire
This article is from 2011.
Untitled Love Story is the first of David Leddy’s productions for years to be set in a conventional theatre. And, while the Venice-set meditation on lost love contains the lyrical writing and formal innovations that have made his past work so exciting, the use of space can also be blamed for the piece’s failure to catch fire.
Staging the show in a converted church does tie-in with the conceit of having the audience close their eyes and meditate at key points, bringing to mind the collective contemplation of prayer and also allowing us to shut out the surrounding environment and focus on the disembodied voice of Robin Laing’s priest in a way that is quite powerful. Perhaps we should have been allowed to keep our eyes shut for the meat of the show, four melancholic stories told by the priest, a historian, a writer and the collector Peggy Guggenheim. The vastness of the auditorium, occasional technical glitches and the conventional separation of spectator from performer means that aspects of these fragmented tales struggle to come through. This leaves you longing for a more intimate staging, or the kind of immersive site-specific audio-tour approach that Leddy pioneered with Susurrus.
St George’s West, 225 7001, until 29 Aug, 6pm, £15–£17 (£12–£15).