Written by award winning playwright Elinor Cook,
Out of Love is skilfully written and this company could not have done better justice to this writing.
Lorna and Grace grow up and grow apart as friends do, but this visceral, theatrical triumph maps their individual changes and the developments in their friendship over 30 years. Gripping, moving and potent, there is no element of this story or production which has been overlooked, leaving the audience feeling immensely satisfied by what they have just seen.
In a story in which the main theme is friendship, the correct portrayal of Lorna and Grace’s relationship is imperative. The palpable connection and understanding between Katie Elin-Salt and Sally Messham (Grace and Lorna respectively) of both their individual characters and their characters’ interactions results in one of the purest and most honest depictions of lifelong friends to ever grace the stage. Special mention must be given to Hasan Dixon, who plays every man in the play and makes each individually identifiable with ease and rapidity, something which is necessary so as not to get lost in the tangles of Cook’s story.
The writing is intelligent, witty and heart-breaking. It is clear that Cook is telling stories which need to be brought to life onstage, and this is capably done by director James Grieve. He has obvious faith in Cook’s prowess, relying on her words as opposed to any props, while also injecting feeling and emotion through the actions of the characters. The movement director Jennifer Jackson also adds to this story, using the actor’s bodies to convey emotion beyond what is scripted.
The highlight of this stunning show was the innovative and heart-wrenchingly beautiful lighting design. Peter Small utilises a myriad of LEDs to both snap between different times and places, and to heighten the visceral, emotional moments in this brilliant performance. Sudden changes in lighting immediately alter the atmosphere, allowing the scenes to tumble after each other and conveying the feeling of 30 years passing in the blink of an eye.
Polished, sharp and stunning, there is no way to fault this performance. Out of Love is skilfully written and this company could not have done better justice to this writing.