REVIEW ROUND-UP: Aspects of Love at Southwark Playhouse

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Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for Jonathan O’Boyle’s production which has transferred to London from Manchester.  

The Upcoming★★★ Jonathan O’Boyle’s revival is bold and intimate, with inspiring use of props, dance and lighting.”

The Stage: ★★★ “O’Boyle’s stripped down production does at least give a real sense of the show. Sometimes that’s not an advantage: it reveals a plot that crawls along at some points and rushes at others, a lot of very average recitative”

British Theatre.com: ★★★★ “See this show and the sound of his music will ring in your ears for days, weeks thereafter, conjoined with the elegant, exquisite words of two greats of the British musical world, lyricists Don Black and Charles Hart.”

The Arts Desk: ★★★ “The musical is doubtless an ambitious undertaking, exploring multiple variations on love via a talky, solipsistic group of people who are sometimes hard to like, let alone love. While the more complex versions don’t quite receive enough attention (the notion of love beyond the grave; a love for art or vocation versus relationships), there are still plenty of enjoyable aspects to the show, brought to the fore in O’Boyle’s production – not least some beautiful scoring and a candid portrait of messy human fumbling for something profound.”

The Guardian: ★★★ “Overlong but blessed with some of Lloyd Webber’s most haunting melodies it is a show that leaves me as conflicted as any of the story’s wayward lovers.”

Evening Standard: ★★★★ “tThe slick staging that guides us through a host of scenes and settings with the minimum of fuss. Aspects, then, of excellence.”

Broadway World: ★★ “O’Boyle’s Aspects of Love is a delicate revival that perhaps feels homesick for its original space up north. It doesn’t shatter any boundaries between audience and material – which hasn’t aged particularly well – but generally looks pretty and sounds fine.”

The Reviews Hub: ★★ 1/2 “Director Jonathan O’Boyle’s desire to strip back the musical to its storytelling roots is laudable. Such an approach works best, though, when there is something solid to be revealed when the fripperies are stripped away, and Aspects of Love really does not possess that.”

LondonTheatre1: ★★★★ “There’s no escaping, though, the rather convoluted storyline. But it’s all rather strangely fascinating. The ten-strong cast with no weak links put in performances that make for a more than satisfying evening.”

The Times: ★★ “The plot is predictable and even sillier when it is sung through. The singing is at times impressive, but the characters are simply not credible.”

Time Out: ★★ “This musical’s mounting sense of claustrophobia is its strongest blow against the self-involved bohemians that fill it, but it’s not enough to rescue this grimly unromantic homage to love’s ickier forms.”

Theatre Weekly: ★★★ “The creative team have managed to find some salvation in this stripped back, but impressive looking revival.  They may not have changed everything, but they have perhaps rekindled the love for this musical in a new generation.”

Musical Theatre Review: ★★★★ “There is outstanding work from Kelly Price as the troubled but hedonistic Rose, a charismatic French actor who marries an older man. She brings what Marcel (Minal Patel) calls “your strength and your fragility” to life.”

Sardines Magazine: ★★★★ “This is one to catch if you can. It punches well above its weight.”

Pocket Size Theatre: ★★ “Jonathan O’Boyle’s direction, whilst covering the stage well, felt for a lot of the time rather static, and it seemed to me like a couple of the characters needed more emotional clarity.”

London Theatre Reviews: ★★★★★ “Lloyd Webber’s original production has met its match and to say it has been done on a minute scale compared to the other versions, Jonathan O’Boyle has set the standards high!”

The Spy in the Stalls: ★★★★ “It is a tricky show that explores perhaps too many variations on the theme of love. But it seems that this intelligent cast has picked one aspect, made it their own, and let it shine. Like the diamond in the mire, this clear-cut production lets the emotion glisten.”

Sincerely Amy: ★★★★★ “Jonathan O’Boyle’s direction is superb as he handles each scene with such intricacy, really opening up these characters to the audience.”

Aspects of  Love continues to play at the Southwark Playhouse until 9 February 2019

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Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.
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Emma Clarendon on FacebookEmma Clarendon on InstagramEmma Clarendon on RssEmma Clarendon on Twitter
Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.

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