Good Love – New Theatre – Review
Run now finished – 20-25th of May 2019
As the audience enters the theatre, the three actors are already on stage in character. They carry out a series of repetitive tasks. Johan (Mrs X’s husband played by Barry John Kinsella) is at one side of the stage standing in front of an artist’s easel. At the centre of the stage is Miss Y (Martha played by Maria Sotiropoulou) who makes eye contact with the audience members and gestures in flamboyant fashion. She dominates the stage in her striking red dress. The final character is Mrs. X (Siri, played by Susan Bracken). She sits on the right hand side of the stage playing cards.
The opening scene has Johan talking to a Marionette (again played by Maria Sotiropoulou). His monologue gives some clues to the complex relationship between the three characters, as he moves the marionette around the stage in nimble and stylish fashion.
The play is adapted from August Strindberg’s work The Stronger which was written in 1889. Strindberg was a hugely prolific playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter. He wrote over sixty plays in a variety of styles. This work ‘echoes’ theatre of the absurd, which explored the concepts of existentialism. This production is by Enigma Theatre, who are a Dublin based theatre company founded by Karolina Szemerda, who serves as director and writer for this work.
The piece also has a multimedia element, as there were projections onto the back wall of the theatre. The video segments included a series of interviews with different individuals talking about what love meant to them.
The play was set at some point in the future and explored how technology will affect love. We see the characters meeting different types of robots and it is implied that these could be more than just our animated servants. Names such as Alexa and Siri feature, to bring a link to our own time.
The piece is quite demanding of its audience and it is a struggle to figure out the relationship between the various characters. Also, as some of the actors play multiple roles, it is often unclear who they are playing. Despite this, the work is intriguing and is carried out with some style. I visited the piece on the final night of its run, and at the end of the performance, each of the actors and the creative team were welcomed on stage and given flowers. It was a nice touch and helped the audience realise how much work goes into a play, even a relatively small production such as this.