Aspects of Love - I loved it!
Alex and Rose
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love, Rugby Theatre, 22 to 29 April.
Review by Ann Evans
Oh, what a tangled web they weave – but there was no attempting to deceive – as the old saying goes, all the characters in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love musical wore their hearts on their sleeves. And in turn those hearts were broken as love really did change everything for each of them.
There was no mistaking Lloyd Webber’s distinctive musical style and the Rugby Theatre team involved in Aspects of Love, although an amateur production, transform this into a thoroughly professional show that literally sparkles with talent and commitment. Every song was beautifully sung, every word audible, every movement perfectly performed. Even the changing of the scenery was carried out like a choreographed ballet!
Aspects of Love is based on the 1955 novella of the same name by David Garnett, and tells the story of the tangled love lives of penniless actress Rose Vibert (Gracey Spring) and her adoring fan Alex Dillingham (Luke Bingham); also Alex’s Uncle George (Steve Bingham – Luke’s real life father!) and his Italian lover Giulietta Trapani (Hayley Glover) and Alex’s young cousin, Jenny (Vera Rusu).
George and Giulietta
As the story unravels we see that Alex falls in love with Rose, a worldly-wise older woman while he is just a boy of 17. Rose has feelings for him, but his love is unrequited. Poor Alex finds himself used and discarded – and his heart broken time and again especially when Rose meets his charismatic Uncle George.
Actress Gracey Spring is perfect for this leading role, with the loveliest of voices yet so powerful as she effortlessly, it seems, hits those spine-tingling high notes time and again. Likewise, Luke Bingham whose voice had the softness of tones and flexibility for the passion, drama and power to practically raise the roof, and when harmonising with Rose and other characters was fantastic to listen to.
Kevin Wing and Alyx Leeming
Uncle George is another fabulous singer with a mature richness to his voice, and as their tangled emotions continued to entwine, we see that George has never really got over his deceased first wife, although the one true love of his life is his daughter Jenny. She is the sweetest, most innocent of girls, who we see grow into a would-be-mature 15-year-old. Her heart is lost to Alex, whose feelings for Rose have become bitter-sweet, bordering on love and hate – emotions that Rose seems to evoke in all the men in her life.
Gracey Spring as Rose
And then there is Giulietta – George’s Italian lover/friend, who even though she loses him to Rose, finds love in other ways (no spoilers). Praise also has to go to the rest of the ensemble who play a range of parts from people at the train stations, to companions, lovers, even undertakers in one very clever and atmospheric scene.
Also, the stage settings too, scenes change by the simple movement of a few chairs and tables and potted plants, but it’s totally believable.
Alex and Elizabeth the maid (Marie Stitson)
There’s passion, tender love scenes, desperate scenes of jealousy and rage – and all because of love, this production has everything – including humour. The show is directed by David Allen with musical direction by Richard Dunster-Sigtermans and a brilliant orchestra which all make for a fabulous evening’s entertainment, which brought rapturous applause and cheers at the end of the first night’s performance.
So well deserved – a fantastic, very professional production. Aspects of Love – I loved it!
For tickets and details, Box Office 01788 541234, or go to: www.rugby theatre.co.uk