I Want To Know What Love Is
The Eternity Playhouse
Collaborative Production by The Good Room
Directed by Daniel Evans
Photography by Stephen Henry
Reviewed by Ron Lee, CSP
In the often traditional world of the theatre, it’s sometimes refreshing to experience creative innovation.
In 2014, the Queensland-based collective, The Good Room, first staged the production of I Want To Know What Love Is that’s had runs in Brisbane and Melbourne. Now it’s Sydney’s turn, and it’s on at the Eternity Playhouse in Darlinghurst.
I Want To Know What Love Is is a crowdsourced composite of anonymous submissions from 800 people regarding their experiences in the various stages of romantic relationships. It basically wrote itself and is a cut and paste, vignettes by numbers (literally) piece enthusiastically performed by four actors, Tom Cossettini, Amy Ingram, Katrina Foster and Emily Tomlins, under the direction of Daniel Evans.
There are a few clever lines, but given that the script has been created by ordinary people, there’s no shortage of platitudes and clichés as well.
It looks to be physically exhausting, with the actors climbing over seats to connect with audience members. My companion and I started to feel concerned when a performer who is in possession of ample proportions headed towards us wearing a look of carefree uninhibitedness. A massive amount of paper flower petals are used in the performance and they
are generously distributed.
Towards the end, in a wise move, a multitude of contributors’ names are mentioned. When you have outside people involved with a production, interest and attendance will be leveraged beyond the range of the normal punters.
People will be listening for their names and the names of those they know, just like they did in children’s television shows. It’s like an R-rated stage version of Play School for young adults.
The clever part of this project is the expanded reach and leverage created by the crowd sourcing. Once the initial idea was conceived, they needed a vehicle that has box office appeal, and romance, sex and relationships will always pull a crowd.