At its very core, the human life means nothing without relationships. Abi Morgan’s Lovesong details the story of one such relationship as a young, idealistic couple grow and change into older, more world-weary versions of themselves over the course of 50 years. Lovesong, however, is unique in that it does not portray a linear timeline, but rather the past and present existing simultaneously.
In moments when all four actors share the stage, William (Laurence Belcher) and Margaret (Chloé Delanney) laugh and dream about growing old together. Meanwhile Billy (Adam Goodbody) and Maggie (Miranda Collins) gaze back at them, revelling in their memories of the past. Belcher, Delanney, Goodbody, and Collins all gave equally wonderful performances, playing off of each other to portray the highs and lows of their relationship.
For me, the highlight of the show lay in the musical interludes composed by Sarah Spencer, which were wistful and gorgeous, complemented by the sounds of starlings. The elegant dancing included the regular changing of partners, allowing the actors to masterfully use physical theatre to portray the interweaving of the young and old selves in every moment.
Likewise, I appreciated the reappearance and emphasis of certain props – the peaches in their backyard, the skull she bought for his dentist’s office, the face cream she uses every night. These tie together the past and the present to show their changing significance over time. Other notable elements include the set, with one entrance covered by crunching autumn leaves, and the makeup by Shivaike Shah, which really made the elderly versions of the characters believable.
Even though Lovesong is technically just the story of one couple in one house living an ordinary life, the simplicity only underscores the universality of the human experience. This gem of a show is already sold out for its entire run, and as I and the rest of the opening night audience can assure you, it will leave you choked up and full of emotion.