The Loves of Others

Alex Keelan’s play for the 2017 GM Fringe is The Loves of Others at 53two.  I was impressed with her last production, Angel of the House, and this is equally well written but very different.  Versatility in a writer is a rare thing.

The play focuses on two dinner parties maybe a year apart, in which three couples compete to show that their relationships are the best.  The irony of the opening game of Mr & Mrs is that the couples compete to show how close they are and yet it is the cracks in the relationships that define this play.  In between, we see into each of their lives, behind the facades.  Max controls Leanne, Tina controls Dave, their motivations and techniques are different but both are complex and none of the issues are clear cut.  Vic and Ike appear to have the perfect relationship but without enough conflict is there a vacuum between them?

You wonder whether they should just swap partners and this is hinted at, but none of these relationships would work; the characters are all brilliantly flawed.  And that is what I loved so much about this play.  On the surface it’s a play about conflict, but really it’s about whether equality can exist within a relationship.  It’s a tricky thing to show equality on stage and when Vic drifts into this territory the words appear forced and preachy.  But then isn’t that what happens in a real world relationship?  Can a relationship only exist with conflict and if so, how much is good?

Skilfully directed by Kayleigh Hawkins, this is an impressive and talented cast that bring out the nuances of each character, especially in the first half.  Perhaps in the third quarter the pace flags as each relationship unravels and the dynamic changes.  The final quarter provides a degree of resolution, but it’s a tricky topic to tie up neatly; this is a play where you’d probably want to follow the one couple that most relates to your own life.  It leaves you thinking about connections and whether there ever can be the perfect relationship in today’s world.


Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

One Response to “The Loves of Others”

  1. Amanda says:

    I loved the emotional shifts for each couple as they moved between the sofa in public to the privacy of the bedroom.

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