Keira Dulake (@keiradulake20)
Writing for the Musical Theatre Appreciation Society.
On Thursday 22nd September I took a trip into London for the evening to ‘Above The Arts’ just off Leicester Square to see a tiny production of an original musical called Some Small Love Story.
To collect your tickets for this show you go into a very quaint Alice in Wonderland themed café where the box office is situated. During my visit ‘American Idiot’ was also showing, and this is the rather peculiar but cute entrance to this too!
The Above the Arts studio is upstairs and seats about 60 people and is a very small intimate space, which is intense but perfect for the production. It’s all black boxed and there’s no raised stage, which I think makes it more immediate. However one problem was, I could definitely hear Green Day blasting out downstairs!
The cast was made up of just four, 2 male, 2 female and the show was more spoken word narrative telling a story than a ‘play’ as such. It told two love stories simultaneously from different perspectives. One is the story of a young love told by the couple themselves from their first meet until death. They talk of how they met, their adventures they take together, how they grew together as a couple and their future plans. However their time together was cut short when they explain the death of the wife in a road traffic accident. The actors for these roles, Veronica Hare and Oliver Tilney were extremely good and set an atmosphere in the room through their words. They really make the audience feel their love with them, and as you become immersed, I found myself eager to find out the ending to their story.
However you don’t find out immediately because their story is interrupted by actors Serena Manteghi and Michael Slater. These two tell the story of their grandparents after the death of their grandmother. They reflect on their love for their decades of marriage and reminisce in childhood memories. They really entice the audience into their story with their words and tones of voice.
The production is face paced and jumps about in time to give that added effect. The production was only 55 minutes long, but it was comfortable timing and just about right. I found myself constantly engaged and really listening and wanting to know more of their stories. The music in this was beautifully placed, with regular intervals, often with tight four part harmonies.
Whilst this was a very interesting production, I personally wouldn’t say that it could be much more than what it already currently is. It is a very sweet love story that is great for an intimate space and would perhaps do well as fringe theatre. There isn’t much potential for it to go any further or be bigger, but the writing, story and music, definitely shows there is much we can expect of the creative team. If you got the chance to see this show, I would certainly recommend it as a small-scale piece of theatre!