Three of Hearts

A mother, lover and cuckolded spouse describe their relationships with an unnamed victim that links them together through rounds of rhyming soliloquy. A sixteen-year-old boy falls in love with his thirty-year-old teacher and embarks on a relationship with him, only to be discovered by the boy's devoutly religious mother who calls attention to the relationship, eventually leading irreparable disaster.The script is inherently a tough one to handle: a series of monologues completely composed of rhyming couplets with no dialogue between the three characters at any point. At first, the rhymes and highly personal nature of the script feels like a confessional hosted by Dr. Seuss as the actors place undue emphasis on the couplets. The play is best when the actors disregard the rhymes and speak as though they were not intentional, as the plot is far more impressive than the structure. Having said that, there were delightful moments in which the characters are trapped by rhyme, struggling against their inevitable conclusion such as the confession of a scandalous affair in which the lover set himself up with a rhyme in which 'boy' could be the only object of his desire as 'girl', 'woman' or even 'man' were not permissible under the established form.The play suffers from its completely static blocking: the three actors recline in plastic chairs across the stage. This leaves the audience's attention on the power of the lyrical script and provides a strange intimacy, but is undeniably dull to watch. The acting was competent on the whole, but the raw passion and intensity of the mother conflicted between love for her son and love for her God is in no way echoed by her two onstage counterparts, whose performances often drift into lazy recitals of their woes and fail to engage the audience emotionally.The subject matter of Three of Hearts is truly intriguing, as it examines the grey areas between hero and villain, and the force of love across all boundaries. The plot is sure to spark interesting discussion, but its execution still leaves much to be desired.

Reviews by Stephanie Bartlett

The Blurb

The tragic tale of three people tangled together by fate. A mother, a man and a lover shed light on the young boy that connects them all. Poignant and heartbreaking. ‘Spellbinding and powerful ... fantastic script’ (ThreeWeeks). www.five-one-productions.com.