Review: Love Song (Gamut Theatre Co)

gamut1Venue: TAP Gallery (Darlinghurst NSW), Jun 11 – 22, 2014
Writer: John Kolvenbach
Director: Glen Hamilton
Cast: Melinda Hyde, Ford Sarhan, Ben Scales, Romney Stanton
Image by Farland Photography

Theatre review
John Kolvenbach’s Love Song is beautifully written. Witty and thoughtful lines, colourful characters, imaginative scenarios with humour and poignancy, and surprising plot trajectories, all make for a play that is irresistibly charming, and rich with potential for creative interpretation. Kolvenbach’s script about relationships and eccentricity is crafted with intelligence. It has a refreshing originality, but it also bears a universality that ensures a wide appeal.

Direction by Glen Hamilton is elegant but fairly subdued. There is some attention placed on lighting effects, especially during scene transitions, but Hamilton focuses almost entirely on working with his actors to form interesting and dynamic personalities. The four main characters are distinct and memorable, each with their own rhythms and quirks. Ford Sarhan plays Beane, the young protagonist, and he is completely delightful. Sarhan is charismatic, understated, and tremendously funny. His comic timing is a highlight of the production, often delivering big gleeful laughs at unsuspecting moments. Ben Scales’ work as Harry is sensitively considered yet playful. He has a thorough connection with the text, and his articulation of the writer’s ideas is clear and powerful. This is a cast with good presence and buoyant energy, and their performances have created a show that is entertaining and consistently engaging.

Love Song does talk a little about romance, but that is not the whole of its message. It is interested in the way people’s lives are nourished through relationships, and through love. The concept of love is explored at depth. We watch how it affects us comprehensively, and how we transform in its presence. Most significantly, we learn how it (love) is essential for life to flourish, no matter what form it may take, and no matter how much effort is required for it to materialise.