Love in (3) Parts at Southwark Playhouse

Love in (3) Parts is akin to watching a live music video rather than a traditional musical, which is exactly the effect Lost Dog Theatre wished to achieve.

A combination of innovative sound, set, lighting and film brings to life the story of a mismatched couple, their ventures in love and all the associated complexities. Commendation must go to musician James Dey whose emotive musical composition compliments and at times, propels the performance.

Some clever set design by Kath Singh adds intrigue and surprise as hidden microphones and instruments appear and disappear and Alan Lane's lighting design is nicely done, even if a little over-used at times. Lucy Hind's movement direction is well executed but seems a little out of place and is perhaps in danger of overdoing the element of 'sweetness' inherent in the piece.

Writer John Shaw has chosen to work with an episodic and non-linear narrative – a style that is managed well by director Dan Mallaghan, whose choices give clarity and a sense of fluidity to a script that switches rapidly between past and present.

However, the dialogue itself is a little hackneyed and this is ultimately where the piece suffers. Instead of allowing this complication to hinder them, actors Richard W. Burton and Sally Kent play a convincing couple and sustain our interest in their characters' ever-adjusting relationship.

Love in (3) Parts is saved in the end by some astute design, nice acting and a very enjoyable soundtrack. On that note, James Dey's CD is also available to purchase after the performance.

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