Comedy and drama, you wouldn’t expect these two to go together, however University Players proved that statement wrong and made them the perfect match. When it comes to comedy in plays, you may think that it would be primarily overdone dad jokes yet that’s not the case when it comes to Love and Information.
Humor was in the actions, the faces, the music, the lighting, the dialogue, but it was well spaced out as to not be overly trying too hard. The drama aspects came out very clearly in the love scenes as well as in the second half of Terminal (one of the scenes where a character is told that 10% of people with her condition survive three years), I was left in goose bumps when 9/10 of the extras in the back hit the ground.
There are very few moments where I forget I’m watching a play or film, where the world around me disappears and I forget that magic isn’t real or that meeting on the train isn’t fate. Love and Information had that effect on me, each scene wrapped me up and left me wondering what was going to happen, or what had happened for these characters to be screaming from a nightmare. The actors didn’t just play their parts, they became their characters in a way that made the audience believe that each person had experienced that moment personally, that they weren’t playing out any story, but a memory.
The play is made up of at least 50 different scenes, not necessarily related together other than in the theme of love, empathy, pain, and longing. I think the director put it perfectly in the Director’s Notes of the pamphlet, “an IKEA play.” Instructions on how to put it together, yet those instructions are written in another language, meaning that the actors had room to play with their characters. With 15 actors playing over 100 diverse characters, you’d expect it to be chaotic and confusing, yet it was far from it. Marc Bondy, the director, did a very good job in making sure the audience wasn’t left wondering what was going on and why that person was doing what they were doing.
The dialogue was quick and fast paced in many scenes, meaning that the viewers had to pay close attention to what was going on to understand the punch line. The transitions between each setting was flawlessly executed, which was especially impressive due to a smaller stage and with that many different scenes needing different props. The music fit each scenario perfectly, and the lights followed suit, especially during a moment when two characters touched, had a beautiful dance, and quickly snapped to reality, running off in embarrassment. You could almost hear the scratch record.
The comedy continued into the intermission, as the actors had mini scenes leaving the audience in giggles. From dragging a body across the stage, playing a game of hide and seek, and asking the audience where they went, it was very amusing and a perfect way to keep the mood of the play light. I think one of my favourite parts, in general, was when one of the actors came out on stage with a chalkboard and started asking the audience the answers to math questions, before walking off without an explanation as to why that had happened.
University Players did very well with their production, and I applaud them on the perfect execution. It was the best way to spend the night, and I enjoyed every minute of it, especially because I had never seen a play done by UP before. I was expecting this to go wrong, and if they did, it wasn’t noticeable in the slightest. Overall, well done to the cast, the director, and everyone who helped form this incredible production.