As the house lights come up after the show, a woman behind me remarks to her friend: “I didn’t really know what I was watching, but I enjoyed that.”
Love and Information, from British playwright Caryl Churchill, is made up of over 50 short scenes and is a smorgasbord of subjects, styles, and moods. Ultimately, it is also a play about communication: how we do it, why we do it, and what happens when it all breaks down.
At its best, Love and Information feels like getting tiny glimpses into huge worlds. When it achieves this, we feel the weight of many small moments strung together, and the promise that it might all add up to something. We see friends, lovers, parents, children, strangers, all trying hard to connect, or to say something to one another.
At its worst, it feels like a constant scrolling through your newsfeed and seeing something catch your eye but not stopping to find out what it is. There is sometimes too little to be found in so much.
Despite the script's cloudiness, this production from the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie is well stocked to tackle the demanding and sometimes baffling script, under the keen eye of director Laura Vingoe-Cram.
The sound, set, and lighting design are all gorgeously styled, and offer a great stage for these actors to show off their chops. It was a delight to watch the performers try on many hats, as they wove through over 100 characters. It was at times playful, other times touching, but always vivid and engaging.
Maja Packer and Jacob Hemphill are particular standouts in a large cast of capable actors, offering nuanced interpretations of their slate of characters, but each of the thirteen cast members has a moment where they really shine.
Love and Information is a beautiful mess of a play, but it all somehow seems fitting.
Love and Information plays Fri, Oct 11 at 7:30pm and Sat Oct 12 at 2pm & 7:30pm at the Davis Mack. Murray Studio, Dalhousie Arts Centre, 6101 University Avenue. Tickets are $10/$15.