Love, Love, Love at the Royal Court

All families are boring. That’s why London was invented. So you can move away.

I finally managed to get along to this play yesterday for a last minute matinee, after months of promising to book a ticket.

On the whole, it was entertaining, probably my new favourite Mike Barlett play, though I have slight issues with some of the characterisation of the younger characters.

Towards the end of the third act, the male lead fires up All You Need Is Love in an attempt to reconcile with his ex-wife. My first thought was “Ah, that’s sweet, but seems to forget…” and then, there it was, the happy couple dance away, ignoring the pleas of their kid for something as simple as a lift.  That’s when the refrain of  “All you need is love…” stopped being a plea for acceptance and generosity but became this haunting condemnation. If you have love…you stop giving a shit about anything else, and the world can’t work like that. And I can’t listen to that song in the same way ever again.

I think this is a production where I’d love to see again with a different sort of audience. Having gone for a matinee, the crowd was overwhelmingly populated by pension collectors – the baby boomers being taken apart on stage. Whether they saw this as a damnation of their generation, I’m not too sure. They certainly seemed to be having a laugh though…

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