Photo – Barry Parsons/East Anglia Photo Services
Despite the play’s title, love is in short supply in this social satire that takes us from 1960s idealism to the generational disparities of today. The focus is on one couple: how they initially meet, how they bring up their children, the breakdown of their marriage and their comfortable retirement. Issues of fairness, gratitude and obligation collide in a modern tragi-comedy that is savagely critical of the selfishness of baby-boomers ‒ and, to a lesser degree, of their Generation X offspring.
The Director of the Sewell Barn production, Clare Williamson, commented: “It is ten years since Love, Love, Love was first performed. Yet the issues raised are just as relevant today, if not more so. For example, soaring house prices have made it even harder for first time-buyers, exacerbating tensions within many families. And arguments about parenting are always with us”.
Award-winning author Mike Bartlett has worked extensively with the National Theatre and has written more than 20 stage plays. He is also well-known for his television work, including Doctor Foster, an episode of Doctor Who, and the 2020 BBC drama series, Life. Period television programmes and news items feature in Love, Love, Love, giving unusual technical challenges for the play’s staging.
Another production challenge is for the actors to play the same individuals at very different ages. Jonathan Redding and Ayshea Christian take the lead roles as the rebellious student couple, Kenneth and Sandra, both aged 19 in Act 1, with Kevin Oelrichs joining them as Kenneth’s 23 year- old brother, Henry. In Act 2 they have settled into conventional middle class life and we meet their two teenage children, Rose (played by Emma Kirkham) and Jamie (Jose Tarouca). Act 3 brings us more up to date, with our actors able to play closer to their actual ages.
Love, Love, Love opens the Sewell Barn’s 2021-22 season of seven plays, with full details at www.sewellbarn.org. Although formal Covid restrictions have been lifted, the health and safety of the audience remains a priority for the theatre. For that reason, ticket sales are being limited to 60% of capacity, allowing separation between groups, and audience members who are not double vaccinated are strongly advised to take a Covid test before coming to the theatre.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE is the first of seven productions in the Sewell Barn 2021-22 season. The others are:
THREE RUSSIAN ENCOUNTERS: The Yalta Game and Afterplay (Brian Friel), Swansong (Anton Chekhov); 25-27 November, 1-4 December 2021
WOMAN IN MIND (Alan Ayckbourn); 20-22, 26-29 January 2022
THE FATHER (Florian Zeller/Christopher Hampton); 3-5, 9-12 March 2022
EDITH – IN THE BEGINNING (Karen Forbes); 21-23, 27-30 April 2022
ORCA (Matt Grinter); 2-4, 8-11 June 2022
UNDER MILK WOOD (Dylan Thomas); 14-16, 20-23 July 2022
Love, Love, Love will be performed at the Sewell Barn Theatre, Constitution Hill, Norwich NR3 4BB from Thursday 14 October to Saturday 23 July 2021. Tickets are available online at £10 and £11 from TicketSource via www.sewellbarn.org, also by phone via 0333 6663366. We are pleased to say that booking fees no longer apply.