Love, Sex, Influence and Evolution
By Narelle Wood
From the outset it was clear that Loveplay by Moira Buffini was not so much about love as it was about the influences of love and the consequences of these on the relationship.
The premise behind the 90-minute play was to explore the influences of love through the ages, beginning from the Classical Age of AD 79 through to The Age of Excess in 1992. Some of the scenes in the earlier eras were confronting, including strong inferences of rape, and while this didn’t continue through to the more modern times, sex featured heavily throughout the play.
Buffini’s script is exceptionally well written, with some brilliant comedic moments scattered amongst the darker themes. The ensemble cast (Chris Saxton, Michelle Myers, Luke Cadden, Kathryn Tohill, Trudi Boatwright, Jacob Pruden, Fleur Murphy and Myles Tankle) play a variety of characters across the ages, and in a rare occurrence, each member of the cast held their own to provide a true ensemble performance.
Given the limited staging options that the Mission to Seafarers offers, the transitions between the ten different eras are achieved, not only through costume changes, but also through prop reveals and lighting. The deliberations between the eras are important as the language of the play offers a limited realism as far as the etymology of language and the portrayal of women are concerned. While it would be obviously difficult to write the earlier scenes in the appropriate version of English, there were some words that were glaringly out of place. The female characters in the earlier eras also seem to have a strong voice, and although I initially found this distracting from the authenticity of the play, in hindsight it did offer a fresh feminist perspective on women and their relationships to and through love.
While I’m not sure I agree completely with Buffini’s take on love and the influences of love, Loveplay provides both an interesting and unique perspective that resulted in a thought-provoking and entertaining experience.
Venue: Mission to Seafarers, 717 Flinders St, Docklands
Season: July 4th – 20th
Tickets: $28 Full | $25 Conc