Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Love Song Leaves Me Cold
I’ve written before about how very often I arrive at the theatre, tired and in a flap and not really in the mood for engaging my brain with anything, but then I take my seat and the lights dim and slowly I’m swept up in another world. All the stresses of the day fade into the background. It doesn’t always happen of course, it takes a certain kind of production I guess, something in tune with what you’re feeling; but last night was the first time I can think of when quite the opposite has occurred. I had tickets for Love Song at the New Ambassadors, John Kolvenbach’s quirky, (kind of) romantic comedy, starring Neve Campbell and Cillian Murphy.
I’d heard mixed things, but was eager to see it – to make up my own mind. The play focuses on Murphy’s loner Beane, an extremely introverted character whose life is opened up by Neve Campbell’s urban ‘liberator’ – a kind of cat burglar on a moral mission, who steals his only spoon. Everything was so determinedly offbeat, and while I could see how some would find it sweet and charming, I just found myself sinking deeper into my seat until, by the end, I was enveloped in some dark malaise of my own making – unmoved and actually a little dejected. This wasn’t completely a result of the play itself which was often very funny in places – but I think you had to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate it and for whatever reason I just wasn’t. I found it overly whimsical and quite the opposite of uplifting. Indeed I scowled all the way to Waterloo. Go figure.