THINGS We Do For Love has arrived at the Lowry’s Lyric Theatre and was given a superb welcome. A welcome this roller-coaster of emotion well deserves, dealing as it does love and hate and everything in between.
The set – contained in what appears to be a gigantic black picture frame – has three levels and we see the owner letting out the basement to an odd and lovelorn postman, and the first floor flat to her school-chum and her fiancé who are always in the mood for love.
This four-hander has the ability to amuse and induce laughter – not of the belly kind – and then smash you down as plot ploughs its course which can well be summed up in the phrase “Oh what a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.”
First performed in 1997 at Ayckbourne’s “personal theatre” in Scarborough, Things We Do For Love initially presents four people who seems, well, quite ordinary. But by the interval we know that many things they are, ordinary they are now.
The thrust of the plot is born through people living together in a very small space, and as the house owner Barbara, Claire Price gives us an edgy and secretly frustrated character. She has lost in the game of love but thinks there’s always hope.
Former Neighbours actress and fine singer Natalie Imbruglia makes her stage debut, and fine it is. She plays the young lover with confidence and style. Nothing can spoil her wonnderful world. Or can it? As her boyfriend Hamish,
Edward Bennett displayed many fine strengths and emotions.
In one funny funny moment, he’s a wisp away from being naked.
But it was the portrayal of Simon the postman that really brought down the house. His sing-song manner of speech and his drunk was memorable in the extreme.
I’m not going to say who ends up in love with whom – just that Mr Ayckbourne holds us in a fascinating vice throughout.
Funny, sad and tragic. All human life is on that stage.