Club Guy & Roni’s LOVE takes the audience on a journey through ecstasy and heartbreak

foto door OOSTBLOK

Onze nieuwste paduan Sofia ging naar de première van LOVE❤ in de Groningse Stadsschouwburg. We kijken mee door haar ogen en wat we zien is supervet. Gewoon liefde, weet je.

What is love? It is an abstract concept, a different experience for each and every one of us. Although probably everyone can agree with this: Love can be the most beautiful thing in the world, making you feel like you’re on top of the world, on cloud nine so to speak.  Being in love is like seeing everything through rose colored glasses.

LOVE is a bitch

It means to unconditionally care for someone without expecting anything in return. But what if reality hits and you realize your relationship has reached its expiration date? Over and out. The romance is dead, the game is up. Then suddenly that feeling of sweet, warm fuzziness turns into bitterness. Love can be messy, complete and utter madness.

Club Guy & Roni, the NNT and GöteborgsOperans Danskompani managed to portray the nature of love in their play of the same name beautifully. Although the name of this theater piece may suggest otherwise, ‘LOVE’ is everything but cheesy. In fact, it is quite the contrary: The music as well as the stage setting create more of a dark and somber atmosphere.

foto door OOSTBLOK

LOVE leaves permanent marks

The details in the set up of the stage are extremely intricate and the clever use of the props accentuate the plot wonderfully. For instance, actors are covered in colored handprints, exemplifying that love leaves permanent marks. The musicians of Slagwerk Den Haag, singing, drumming, playing the piano and the violin, add to the depth of the story and the vibrant costumes made by of the actors truly complete the dynamic nature of this play.

All these small details create a real experience. Watching this play is like looking at an abstract painting: It was refreshing to be given lots of room for interpreting a meaning into what was shown on stage yourself. The performance evokes a wide array of different feelings, including sadness, awe and joy.

LOVE can be gloomy and disturbing

The lightness of some scenes is skillfully juxtaposed with moments that are more on the gloomy side. For example, the exaggerated depiction of binge eating after a breakup is very amusing. Although, on the other hand some scenes are rather sad or even disturbing, such as showcasing of paying for love, being addicted to affection because it gives self-validation or even completely losing yourself due to a continuous chasing of finding ‘true love’.

There is constant movement on the stage and the actors’ dance performance is truly stunning. Even though there is no conventional storyline, the play is climactic, taking the audience on a journey through ecstasy and heartbreak.

LOVE simply overcomes

Despite the minimal dialogue the 18 characters manage to showcase the many facets of romantic relationships with a wink towards the ‘swipe culture’ that can be observed today. However, the interpretation of love is not just restricted to interpersonal, human relations but is taken to another level by illustrating different angles to the issue, such as the love to oneself turning into an obsessive vanity, triggered by social media.

A big part of the plot deals with the dependency on love. Further, the performance points out the struggles we encounter in relationships: You can be with someone yet still feel completely alone. On the other hand, you can’t control love, it simply overcomes you whether you want to or not. LOVE managed to encapsulate all these different shades and forms of relationships in our modern world brilliantly.

Foto’s door OOSTBLOK

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