Thoughts after Love

On Saturday I saw Love at Birmingham Rep, a transfer from the National Theatre in London. I loved it and I wanted to write about it but it’s been hard to articulate exactly how it moved us all so profoundly. So I’ve collated my thoughts about the show which will never do it justice. In no way is this a review of the show. I didn’t feel like it was right to review it. It warranted an emotional response not an analytical discussion.

Human compassion is delicate and intangible. It gives strength and it complicates us more than we can comprehend.

It can’t save us. It can push us through but it often cannot penetrate to the institutions which have the power to incite change.

Empathy feels like the most powerful and futile of our facets.

Children are light in times of darkness.

Acceptance is difficult. Tolerance is difficult. Sharing, in every sense, is a hard and conflicting necessity.

Theatre is a presentation, a call to action, a story, a representation, a necessity.

We are sat in the lives of the characters. We are sat on the stage. We are sat in the society that crushes them.

We are so close to them and yet we can never be with them.

Voyeuristic?

Important.

Being the first person to hold out your hand and help is the simplest and most true show of love.

We are responsible and helpless.

Familiarity is love. Comfort is love. Sacrifice is love.

If one thing endures it has been and always will be love.

I cried at the end. After the bows. It was a release. It was cathartic.

I feel guilty that I could let it go the next morning.

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Emerge Festival – Day One

Eurohouse and Lucy, Lucy, and Lucy Barfeild

Emerge Festival is at Warwick Arts Centre for three days this term, curated by Warwick Graduate company Barrel Organ and for the next couple of days I’ll be blogging and sharing my probably inadequate and disjointed thoughts on the festival and the shows that are on. There are still tickets for the other shows so I would definitely recommend coming to the next two days.

The theatre is a safe space. Especially for theatre students. Going back to theatre’s you know and love is a comfort in itself. Maybe that’s why so many Warwick companies are coming back for this three day festival. To feel a sense of community, of safety. Eurohouse began by creating a very safe sphere of togetherness and connection. The audience locked hands, became physically connected, and created a small community in itself. Bert and Nasi smiled out at us. It felt warm and happy. There was dancing.

Gradually though, that safety was broken down. It was simple but they were able to systematically destroy the safety of those first few moments. The dancing paralleled the political zeitgeists which continue to occur in this global crisis that our world seems to constantly be in. Not to be cheesy but history does repeat itself. We are lulled into this false sense of security by the people in power. They pretend everything’s fine and dance around to Comme d’habitude with a charming French accent and slowly eat away at what makes us most secure, most human. As someone said afterwards, ‘It made me want to throw up, but in a good way’. So this shift in tone basically subverted the whole notion of a safety net that holds us in this cocoon of privileged apathy. Two guys made me question my own sense of national identity, and who I believe anymore. Greece was portrayed to us as a country that seriously messed up, but really it was a manipulative French guy forcing us to retch up our M&Ms.

So I questioned my national identity. And I questioned my actual identity as well. And how much my name actually means. That was because of Lucy, Lucy, and Lucy Barfield. A young girl fascinated with the dream world of Narnia (in a way an imagined safe space, one that doesn’t and never did really exist) searches for the ‘real’ Lucy, the one C.S. Lewis dedicated his books to. And everything is thrown into question. Whereas Eurohouse was a focus on facts and presenting those facts via metaphor, Lucy was about a truth that was subjective. How can we ever truly know what happened to someone who is basically untraceable? What is her truth, and is it singular? And in a subtle link to Eurohouse – how is our individualism taken away from us in the wake of political crisis?