Love Letters Straight from Your Heart at the Southbank Centre
As soon as you walk into the Blue Room in the Southbank Centre, having received a complimentary glass of sparkling wine or fizzy water, you are asked to take a seat at one of two long tables facing each other. Red tablecloths, vases of roses, candles, a disco ball… the setting suggests a speed-date but there’s more to this than meets the eye.
Love Letters Straight from Your Heart, faithful to its name, is an interactive show hosted by live art company Uninvited Guests, which can be summarized as a celebration of love in all its forms. In between a theatrical act and a radio program, the two performers hosting the evening invite the participants to raise their glasses, both literally and metaphorically, to people they have loved and lost, to those they love and to those yet to be loved.
Prior to the event, all attendees are asked to choose a song they want to dedicate to someone, explaining what that person means to them. Uninvited Guests collect these dedications to be shared on the designated night, together with some of their own. Acting as DJs, they play music and relate stories; they sing, dance and interpret love in many aspects, often involving the guests. Entrancing and connecting the audience, this is a cathartic couple of hours, at times very emotional and spiritual, and different from any other clichéd saccharin display.
It was definitely a well-conceived move to stage this event around Valentine’s Day. Whether you like it or not, love is in the air and it is more powerful than we would like to admit. We tend to forget how important it is and only seem to remember it when this “festival” approaches, but what significance do we really attach to it? Love Letters Straight from Your Heart is a charming idea that should be proposed all year round (and on a separate note, the performers should make up for the disappointment of those whose song and story were not included in the show… everyone wants a turn!).
Love Letters Straight from Your Heart is at the Southbank Centre until 16th February 2013. For further information visit the theatre’s website here.