Posted by Ross Battaglia
12. Jun, 2015
“You climbed the ladder, but broke it on the way.”
There’s much to love about Love, Love, Love, a story following the volatile, yet enduring passion between Kenneth (Paul Ashcroft) and Sandra (Ella Caldwell). It’s a story that poses questions about life, monogamy, romance and the effect of the current social climate to intimate audiences at the Red Stitch Theatre.
Directed by Danny Lawrence and buttressed by a witty script, Paul Ashcroft and Ella Caldwell bring Kenneth and Sandra – both idealistic yet self-absorbed in their pursuit to happiness – to life over three acts in a clever drama clouded by second-hand smoke and soaked in booze.
Act One: Welcome to the 1960s. London is the epicentre of a culture shift. Millions are crippled by the power of television. The Beatles become Gospel. The wave of emancipation from social restrictions surrounding prescribed gender roles, dating, sex and drugs hits the Baby Boomer generation. Ella, the embodiment of this generation’s hot mess, infects brothers Henry (Jordan Fraser-Trumble) and Kenneth with her alluring vivacity. After a brief flirtation with Henry fizzles, Ella takes delight in pitting brother against brother. Choosing Kenneth, the lovers promise each other a life of adventure and living in the now—the way they deserve to.
Act Two: Years pass and adventurous streaks plateau, flat-lined by the burden of juggling successful careers, responsible parenting and remaining faithful to each other – a struggle that becomes all too much for the inner hedonist. Questioning the direction of their future and their ability to make one another happy, their Kenneth and Ella’s marriage disintegrates at their daughter, Rose’s (Jem Nicholas) 16th birthday, over an unassuming conversation that soon turns into an icy showdown.
Act Three: Present time. Social media has overshadowed the TV. The blemishes of the Baby Boomer generation are exposed by Rose who is unhappy with the direction of her life, and places blame with her successful (or lucky) parents. Kenneth and Ella reach an impasse with each other and themselves – are they the sacrificing parents or are they denying destiny?
Love, Love, Love is a love affair spanning four decades. Ashcroft and Caldwell each bring an arsenal of emotions and manage to command the stage with their chemistry. Caldwell is especially hilarious as the self-centred lush in constant need of attention and her relationship with Rose is truly entertaining. Even in her sixties, it is clear Ella seeks the spotlight. With two solid acts, the final act was a little shaky in comparison, yet the main message was driven home, leaving Gen Ys to question their own lives and relationships.
For music lovers, romantics and fans of drama, Love, Love, Love is a wonderful and fresh take on youthful aspirations and the challenges of adulthood. Check out Love, Love, Love from June 5 to July 4 at the Red Stitch Theatre on Chapel St.
Love, Love, Love
Red Stitch Theatre, Rear 2 Chapel Street, St Kilda
Friday June 5 – Saturday July 4
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