Out of Love at the Orange Tree Theatre
There’s a moment in Out of Love when best friends Lorna and Grace are reflecting on their past and Grace asks, “Do you think maybe people don’t understand what it can be like? That fire. Between two women”. It’s a question that’s dissected with warm-hearted empathy in Elinor Cook’s latest play, which follows two pals from childhood to adulthood as they enter the painfully real scenario of taking diverging paths in life.
No matter how long you’ve known somebody for, there’s the serious potential of a broken bond due to individual choices. Out of Love is very humane in its depiction of interpersonal relationships and how, at the end of the day, they are what really matter, as they affect every aspect of life as we know it. The story is told through a jigsaw puzzle-like narrative structure, which works surprisingly well, with the exception of the obscure final scene, and, after the show, some audience members admitted to getting lost at various points.
In the midst of the Lorna and Grace friendship, there’s a swarm of characters who each have a vital impact on the lives of the central duo and, ultimately, their friendship. They include fathers, brothers and boyfriends. All of these men are portrayed by the same actor, Hasan Dixon. The only other two actors are Sally Messham and Katie Elin-Salt.
For 70 minutes in the intimate space of the Orange Tree’s theatre in the round, the thespian trio turn in first-rate performances, nimbly transitioning between childhood and adulthood scenes at the flick of a light and a single music cue. With no costume changes or hair and makeup alterations, they use the best acting weapon they have: the sound of their voice, effortlessly modulating it as necessary.
Continuous ambient music supplements the story with an undercurrent that’s as equally mellow as it is melancholy. All the elements converge to create a sweet, sad, superb piece of theatre that breaks your heart and puts it back together again.
Photo: Johnathan Keenan
Out of Love is at the Orange Tree Theatre from 27th January until 3rd March 2018. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
Watch the trailer for Out of Love here: