Time Is Love (Tiempo es Amor) at Finborough Theatre
Making its European premiere this month, writer-director Chè Walker’s drama Time is Love (Tiempo Es Amor) is set in the barrios of East Los Angeles, exploring the intricacies of modern relationships and all the rage, jealousy and violence they involve.
A head emerges from the trap door above the screen at the Finborough Theatre, where sex worker Serena (Sasha Frost) provides a little context to the story. Blaz (Gabriel Akuwudike) has just spent three years in prison for an armed robbery, during which his best friend Karl (Benjamin Cawley) abandoned him. In this scene, Blaz and Karl appear as chilling masked intruders, shining flashlights and pointing guns at the audience.
As he is questioned by sleazy and, quite frankly, loathsome police officer Seamus (Cary Crankson), we see how Blaz’s world changes after he serves time. His long-term girlfriend Havana (Jessica Ledon) has been unfaithful, Karl seems to know more than he’s letting on and Blaz struggles with his own fidelity. Amongst this mix of characters is lap dancer and best friend to Havana, Rosa (Sheila Atim), who is portrayed as shrewd and always one step ahead.
The creative decision to have dialogue both in English and Spanish without translation is problematic, the drama feeling as if it is aimed only at native speakers of the language. Although the performances by the female leads are noticeably better – particularly when they are delivering sincere monologues – and the musical composition by Atim is commendable, Time is Love comes across as verbose and derivative of mumbling hard crime thrillers. Ultimately, Walker’s production lacks interest, and the piece serves only to tell the fragmented stories of a few Los Angeles inhabitants, without much substance to its essence.
Photo: DWGH Photos
Time Is Love (Tiempo es Amor) is at Finborough Theatre from 1st January until 26th January 2019. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.