Love letters delivered by very good performances

Michael Sparks and Andrea Shut in “Love Letters”.

Theatre / “Love Letters”, written by AR Gurney, directed by Kate Blackhurst. At Canberra Rep Theatre till March 26. Reviewed by LEN POWER.

“LOVE Letters”, which was first carried out within the US in 1989, centres on two fictional well-to-do People, Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III.

Masking practically 50 years, we witness their early hopes and desires and share their disappointments, successes and failures via their correspondence with one another as they lead their principally separate lives.

The play wants expert performers who can carry this two-handed play in a minimal setting. Fortunately, Canberra Rep have Michael Sparks and Andrea Shut, two Canberra actors with formidable expertise. Seen collectively in final 12 months’s electrifying “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?”, they once more create plausible characters as they modify via the a long time.

As they learn letters from one another, we’re drawn into their lives and dangle on each phrase. Sparks as Andrew Makepeace Ladd III is a younger, awkward boy who’s drawn to Shut’s smart-talking, younger Melissa Gardner. Because the play progresses, each actors’ expert physique language in addition to their voice modulations and acute sense of timing add appreciable color to their altering characters through the years. Each performers give very good performances.

The viewers is drawn into the small print of the lives of those folks towards a background of the manners and morals of those 50 years or so in American historical past.

Director Kate Blackhurst has ensured that the gradual adjustments within the actors’ characters is well-balanced and has a plausible depth. The easy setting by Andrew Kay retains the main focus clearly on the actors.

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Letter-writing could also be a dying artwork on this digital age however people nonetheless want to speak. The means could also be completely different nowadays, however the sentiment portrayed within the play remains to be one thing we are able to establish with. It’s not stunning that we’re spellbound and finally moved by these two pals as they correspond through the years.

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Ian Meikle, editor