L.O.V.E.

Shall I compare this show to a summer’s day? I wouldn’t call it lovely or temperate. The biggest similarity is probably the sweatiness.

L.O.V.E is a boisterously physical take on Shakespeare’s sonnets, with writhing dancers reciting the words and recreating the poems’ famous love triangle. However, the show is paradoxically at its best when not focusing on lines of poetry but instead on physicality.

The dancing is frequently spectacular. The performers literally throw their weight around, swirling and falling and bouncing off both the set and each other. Not only is this an impressive physical feat, it perfectly captures the lack of self-control which comes which such intense emotion. Series of breathtaking lifts demonstrate the dependency of one lover on another, the need to be supported by someone.

But all this feverish movement - there’s plenty of kissing and violence as well - isn’t necessarily the perfect environment to speak Shakespearean poetry. The Sonnets are not just declarations of passion, they’re also bundles of closely-woven wordplay and they can be difficult to follow when said passionately and quickly, the lines shared between performers. The Elizabethan register of most of the speech also makes the moments when non-Shakespearean dialogue is included jar considerably, particularly when the lines are as uninspiring as ‘Yeah, I’ll agree with you there, actually’.

Perhaps because of the difficulties of the dialogue, I found it hard to believe in the desire that is supposedly buzzing between all three of the characters in the show. Too often, displays of passion descend into something cringily demonstrative, like saying ‘Yeah baby’ or slapping someone’s bum. The most convincing moments were those that were a little more tender - clasping someone tightly or finding a place to kiss gently on their face - but these were few and far between. Though this is a vibrant, energetic, impressive show, it’s meant to be about one of the most beautiful and concentrated feelings a human being can have and on an emotional level, it fails to convince.

Reviews by Hannah Mirsky

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

Exuberant, sensual and violently passionate, Volcano's award-winning Shakespearean threesome has toured worldwide. A theatrical landmark, directed and choreographed by Nigel Charnock. Based on the sonnets. ‘The entire performance is like one long lovemaking session’ (Time Out).

Most Popular See More

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets