Love and Information is another surprise from Caryl Churchill’s box of tricks. At the age of 74 this incredible playwright is still producing unexpectedly imaginative and inquisitive theatre.
16 actors play 100 characters in more than 50 separate scenes. It all happens in less than two hours with no interval. The audience are bombarded – it feels like a last minute cramming session for a very stressful exam. It is alarming, and even as you grow used to the short sharp scenes, the slight feeling of seasickness does not ease. The play is intended to reflect our constantly busy lives, the overload of information we encounter, little of which makes a lasting impression.
I enjoyed it, but couldn’t help feeling a little short-changed that, as I left the theatre, I still had lots of unanswered questions. Most of the scenes show just two people in conversation, sometimes only a few lines, and others a few pages of text. As the production progressed I began to find the longer scenes boring, and strangely they often don’t give as much insight as the briefer interactions. It is a showcase of every emotion and personality type and the sixteen performers do a great job making each scene believable, constantly switching between roles.
Love and Information is an interesting work, securely and slickly executed. If you have a short attention span this is the show for you.