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Lovesick - Review

Georgina Barley as Sarah and Avena Mansergh-Wallace as Maggie

Sarah is someone who needed a heart transplant. Maggie is the Surgeon who performs the surgery. Sarah had become engaged while she was ill but following the surgery Sarah develops feelings for her Surgeon. She questions whether the feelings are caused by the new heart and if it has memories of what it felt before. But during the play we learn that Maggie is not blameless in what transpires.

Don’t let the description of the plot fool you. While it could be the plot of a romcom it is a hard-hitting heavy examination of love, loss and life. Both Sarah and Maggie discuss how their lives have changed from what they’ve lost as well as the lives gained, with the pain of each of them laid bare on the stage.

The dialogue is thoughtful and expertly written, brought to life through stunning performances from Georgina Barley (who is also the writer) as Sarah and Avena Mansergh-Wallace as Maggie. They bring realism and nuance to characters which are imbued with so much pain. With a mostly empty stage you are able to focus solely on these performances. They advertise this as being told partly through movement which, if done incorrectly, can seem contrived and corny. But it wasn’t overdone. Here the movement is used to move between scenes while seeing a little more of the characters emotions and feels natural.

We also need to mention the sound design which was used to great effect throughout, enhancing the moments without being intrusive. So many elements came together to create a compelling play.

The one thing the show needed though was a few moments of lightness. The show is emotional and needed to allow the audience moments to relax slightly. The opportunities were there in the dialogue where it could have been lighter but it always took a more ominous tone. It’s a great play, but it is emotionally draining (not a bad thing but be aware of that).

The show is being shown again at the Hope Theatre in Islington in November (with tickets available from September) and I’d urge to see it if you can.

Rating: 4 Star


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