Lockdown has been a universal experience for everyone in this country. A shared, collective, (some may say) traumatic experience over the last year and a half. Love, also, is a near-universal feeling and experience. But how has love manifested (or not) during lockdown and the Covid-19 pandemic? That’s what Love in the Time of Lockdown seeks to explore, through a variety of stories, sketches and characters.
these relatable stories were lovely to experience
The debut show of SwanWing Productions, the show premiered at Brighton Fringe earlier this year and consists of a cast of five performing 17 different characters through seven different stories. From falling in love with the doctor who’s giving you your vaccine to arguing with your spouse, Love in the Time of Lockdown covers a wide variety of stories and experiences in a relatively short period of time.
Written by Saskia Wesnigk-Wood and based on the experiences of her friends and neighbours in East Sussex, the show is strongly female-led with only one male cast member and primarily female characters. As a result, the performance didn’t just cover conventional, heterosexual, romantic love. It explored self-love (and self-hatred), queer relationships, difficult parental relationships, platonic love and even falling in love with inanimate objects. The scenes blend serious, sometimes sad moments with comedy and light-heartedness in an effortless manner, which is important giving the dismalness of the overall subject matter.
Love in the Time of Lockdown does a good job of portraying the awkward moments of lockdown and the pandemic, but some scenes are awkward to an uncomfortable extent, which didn’t make for the most enjoyable viewing. However, there is almost definitely something in this show that everyone can relate to – whether it’s an awkward cold walk as a first date, or not being able to see your loved ones for months on end. Lockdown was very much a shared experience, and these relatable stories were lovely to experience as part of a theatre audience – a rare occurrence over the last 18 months.