'The concept of modern day communication and information exchange when love is involved is an intriguing one'Johannes Hjorth

Love and information are perhaps two terms we wouldn’t necessarily put together. Unfortunately, that seems to continue to be the case in Corpus’ late-show this week. The play is saved only by its talented actresses and quick-fire scenes which combine to create an overload of information and not a great deal of love.

With over-arching themes of the modern-day information burden and nostalgia for a past that perhaps never really existed, this play deals with what it means to live in the 21st century, when ways of communicating are constantly changing. The backdrop of Love and Information is a couple struggling to connect, as one partner suffers with an obsessional need to know everything about anything – alienating them from their spouse. This generally failed as a unifying story arc, with the two characters’ sullenness sometimes distracting from the sketches taking place next to them. Although this background story aimed to provide a basis on which to situate the small scenes in-between, it may have benefitted from being dropped altogether, and instead keeping the fast pace of choppy sketches which dealt with differing contexts and forms of love, which was on the whole more compelling.

Glen Collier and Xanthe BurdettJohannes Hjorth

The show is nevertheless held together by the charismatic and dynamic performance of Xanthe Burdett. Her ability to move from deluded cheating spouse to narrator of a comically anti-climactic children’s horror story allowed her to own the small stage, in a way the other actors perhaps shied away from. This is not to forget Dolores Carbonari’s equally impressive versatility, most notably her anxiety-ridden, stream-of-consciousness portrayal of a woman in breakdown. The supporting cast, moving from within the audience itself – which had the effect of making their situations universal, as if they were members of the audience playing out real life, separated only by flashes of lighting as if we all blinked together – were on the whole, good, but at times fell out of character or struggled to make the in media res device of the majority of the scenes understandable. This occasionally meant some scenes fell flat due to the audience not quite knowing what the purpose was.

Ultimately, this production strives to be great and it definitely had the potential to be so, but certain elements, such as the uncomfortable background plot and the structural problems this caused, means it never quite reaches its goals. However, the honesty of the dilemmas, situations and interactions was at times incredibly heartfelt, and even laugh-out-loud funny, particularly the religious and cultural musings. The concept of modern day communication and information exchange when love is involved is an intriguing one and Love and Information deals with it pleasingly, but not incredibly.