I don’t think that there was ever a more apt time than now, to show love. In all its forms, friendship, family, relationships. The need for human contact is critical. Intentional or not, Bristol-based theatre group Uninvited Guests (Jessical Hoffmann and Richard Duffy) have somewhat stumbled on a goldmine via Zoom.
Clutching my glass of sparkling water, desperately trying to emulate a theatre from my bedroom, I logged in and sat waiting for the "curtain to rise". Love Letters is, simply and succinctly put, beautiful. It is reminiscent of late-night love radio shows. Sending in dedications and a song that matched the recipients' feelings was charming to listen too.
Jess and Rich are matched well, responding to each other's cues with ease and vigour in equal measure which is no easy feat over a screen and allowing us to have an intimate glimpse into their lives. Jess' eyes sparking with unshed tears as she spoke to her love and Rich dancing at full throttle and indeed, towards the end of the show, dancing separately (but) together and showing us their family and lives for a short period. Little touches bought this production to life, the audience being able to choose what song Rich would dance to. Being told to look deep into a strangers' eyes and try to connect with them, to drop into their heart space.
My favourite part of the show was watching peoples' reactions on the screen. I found myself scrolling across the screen and delighting in watching how they became shy and bashful or exaggerated in their responses; that is priceless. However, the best thing about Love Letters is that no two performances are the same, that everyone who had logged on would have a unique and personal experience. In these very unsettling times, Love Letters really has shown that All You Need is Love.
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Review: Kay Johal