Corazon Miller is a NZ Herald reporter

Review: Wholehearted look at love

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Comedic and heart-wrenching piece comes together in mini narratives.
A small cast in The Wholehearted examine the psychology of love. Photo / Supplied
A small cast in The Wholehearted examine the psychology of love. Photo / Supplied

It's a risky ambition to tackle the meaning of love - how we find it, how it changes us and how it feels to have loved and to have lost.

Massive Theatre Company's latest production The Wholehearted attempts to do just that in a piece of performance theatre that combines movement, voice and drama to dissect love from all angles.

Under the helm of co-directors Sam Scott and Scotty Cotter, the show sought to explore the "extreme power of love" across generations, genders and cultures.

Set in the intimately small Q Theatre loft, with a small cast of seven, the piece managed to examine the psychology of love in a manner that was both comedic and at times heart-wrenching.

The cast of both professional and emerging actors brought it all to the stage through their individual strengths and personalities in a number of mini narratives.

There was 12-year-old Harry, a die-hard Dr Who fan, a woman who has lost her father, a guy who is broken up with via text and through Facebook and a woman on an eternal search for love.

A particular standout performance came from Villa Lemanu, who despite it being his first professional show, managed to have members of the audience in hysterical laughter as he played the part of a boyfriend tragically dumped by text and ignored on Facebook.

In contrast, Denyce Su'a managed to tug at the heartstrings with her poignant portrayal of a woman reaching for the bittersweet, flitting memories she had of her deceased father.

There were questions around societal expectations, the ever-pressing expectation to always be "okay" no matter what, our internal anxieties, daunting crossroads into the future and the need to connect to the world around us.

While the 75-minute piece may have benefited from a clear overarching narrative to answer some of these questions, it nevertheless managed to tackle the issues of our daily lives in a relatable, humoristic and at times thought-provoking manner.

What: The Wholehearted

Where: Q Theatre Loft until April 10

- NZ Herald

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